The game in 100 words (or less): Just when you think you’ve got something figured out about MLS … well, we all know how this one ends: you’re reminded that no one knows anything about MLS. Take, for instance, D.C. United, widely regarded one of, if not the worst teams in MLS 2016; through five games, just three points to show for their efforts and not a single victory. Enter Saturday’s opponent, the Vancouver Whitecaps, widely regarded Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup contenders, and the Black and Red are no longer winless, having thoroughly dominated the second-place finishers in the Western Conference a season ago. The poacher’s intuition of Fabian Espindola was on display in this one, as the veteran Argentine scored twice on rebounds from close range. “Right place, right time” is a skill, you know. United’s other former Real Salt Lake man, Alvaro Saborio, came off the bench to score an 11-minute brace of his own.
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Three moments that mattered
33′ — Ousted makes a huge stop against Espindola — Fantastic reaction save by David Ousted, who made no fewer than four massive saves to keep it 0-0 this long.
39′ — Espindola cleans up after Ousted spills for 1-0 — Nick DeLeon slotted the through ball that put Chris Rolfe in with a one-on-one chance against Ousted. The big Dane ‘keeper made the stop of Rolfe’s effort, but the rebound rolled right into the path of Espindola.
54′ — Espindola pokes home from close-range again — Taylor Kemp whipped in the in-swinging corner kick, Steve Birnbaum leapt above the crowd and headed the ball off the crossbar, and Espindola was quickest to react and poke home another rebound for a 2-0 lead.
Man of the match: Fabian Espindola
Goalscorers: Espindola (39′, 54′), Saborio (88′, 90+1′)