At the risk of sounding redundant, it was Chris Rolfe to the rescue for DC United. In the second half Rolfe provided both goals, one from a penalty kick, to lead United past the New England Revolution Sunday at RFK Stadium.
Rolfe now has four game-winning goals on the season and helped rally United to another come from behind win. The Revs Charlie Davies opened the scoring in the tenth minute on an assist from Lee Nguyen. United’s successful rally improved its record to an impressive 5-4-1 when allowing the first goal.
Surprisingly United was sluggish from the start and in the 94 degree heat the Revs were more assertive and dangerous. Nguyen was especially active for the Revolution and in addition to the assist on Davies’ goal had scoring opportunities of his own. United made it to the break only down a goal.
The second half was much better for the home team. The spirit of Fabian Espindola burst through and he provided a perfect cross for an equally perfect finish from Rolfe in the penalty area for the equalizer in the 70th minute. In short United was the better team in the second half and deserved at least a draw
United was able to get more than a draw when a mazy run in the 81st minute by second half substitute Miguel Aguilar led to a penalty. Revs second half sub midfielder Steve Neuman was whistled for a foul on a clumsy challenge of Aguilar just inside the top of the penalty area. Rolfe converted his second penalty kick of the season.
The victory stopped United’s two-game losing streak and increased its lead over second place New England by seven points.
- The Rolfe factor. We noted Chris Rolfe to the rescue. Since his arrival early last season Rolfe has been an important factor in United’s success. It doesn’t matter if Rolfe plays out wide on the flank or at forward, he excels. On Sunday playing as forward he scored two goals and now has six for the season—his goal total from all of last season. With Espindola missing time earlier this season from injury and suspension and Eddie Johnson out for health reasons, Rolfe’s increased production has been a big factor in United’s ability secure and now hold on to first place.
- Better starts. Yes United did it again and claimed there points despite conceding the opening goal. It is a credit to United’s character and resilience that the team has a winning record, 5-4-1, when allowing the first goal. Still surviving through slow starts is not a game plan United wants to hold on to. United was able to bag three points on Sunday, but knows it needs to better from the opening kick especially with a heavy road schedule next.