It never gets old saying Chris Rolfe has helped change the course of D.C. United. In just a year, the final 31 games of 2014 and the start of this season, Chris Rolfe has had a huge impact on D.C. United. Evidence of Rolfe’s meaning to United surfaced again on Wednesday in a 2-1 win over Orlando City.
Rolfe scored the game-winning goal in the 79th minute to help preserve multiple streaks of success. D.C. United is unbeaten in eight straight matches has matched the franchise’s best start after 10 games. In 2006, United was also 6-1-3 (21 points) after 10 matches.
In addition United is unbeaten in 18 straight games in all competitions at RFK Stadium, including 14 straight in league play. The last loss came in an MLS match against Seattle in June 2014.
“We were patient, but urgent, in the way we broke them down and I thought it was a very good second half. I thought the substitutes brought what we need subs to bring. Chris Rolfe brings his class, Miguel Aguilar brought energy and a youthful feistiness that the game needed and Jairo Arrieta comes in and makes a wonderful pass to Rolfe. Overall, we are happy with the points and now we have to turn around and go to Philadelphia.”
- Rolfe is a team MVP. It doesn’t matter where Rolfe plays. It doesn’t matter if Rolfe starts. He makes a difference and combines well with everyone on the field. Already in 2015 Rolfe has started on the left flank, partnered with Espindola in attack, and on Wednesday used as a substitute. In United’s last five matches Rolfe has scored three goals. In one of several shrewd moves that helped script a first place finish in the Eastern Conference, United secured Rolfe from Chicago after drawing 2-2 with the Fire last March at RFK Stadium. Rolfe’s skill along with his work rate added a bite to United’s midfield and provided a foundation for Fabian Espindola’s scoring success that included 11 goals in 2014.
- Quality in numbers. Fabian Espindola is still recovering from a knee injury, but United is confident in Luis Silva. Espindola is close to a return and that will add to the attacking choices that head coach Ben Olsen has to sort through. When healthy Espindola starting is a given, but who plays with him is a nice question to have. Taylor Kemp and Chris Korb are battling for time at left back. Michal Farfan has become a reliable option in midfield either in the center or out wide and off-season signing Markus Halsti was part of the 18 on Wednesday night. With a stretch of three straight road games starting Sunday in Philadelphia, it is a good time to be healthy with quality options.