An earlier post mentioned two of the second-tier stars in MLS, solid players, but not generally involved in the same conversations with the Donovans, Beckhams, Henrys, etc.
But they are absolutely carrying their teams’ attacks at the moment.
One was Chris Rolfe in Chicago. The other, of course, is Fabian Espindola at Real Salt Lake.
Two weeks ago, Espindola contributed a goal in a bright performance during RSL’s 2-1 win over Portland. Then he had three assists last week (when Alvaro Saborio had a hat trick, but where “Espy” did the heaviest lifting).
And last night? He was Espy on the spot to gather up a ball pinging around in the Galaxy’s final third, equalizing against the run of play. A few minutes later, RSL was on top thanks to a well-placed snap header.
The veteran Argentine could have had more but for Josh Saunders, still doing yeoman’s work in the L.A. Galaxy goal.
With nine goals and seven assists, this represents Espindola’s best season since his 2007 arrival. Here’s what RSL manager Jason Kreis had to say about the man’s latest contributions:
I guess he likes this stadium. He was spectacular tonight. Obviously, the two goals were quite nice and special. He was good for us defensively and trying to find spots to help out the rest of his team on the other side of the ball. It was critical.”
Espindola had one other two-goal night in 2012, that one also at the Home Depot Center. It came last June in a 3-0 win over Chivas USA.
Get a man on a big run like this one and good things are usually happening around a team. To wit: RSL has won four in a row (including a Champions League victory) and are 6-1-1 in the last eight across all competitions.