DC United 1, Colorado Rapids 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids had to settle for a point apiece on a dour, drizzly Sunday at RFK Stadium, as Dillon Powers and Fabian Espindola struck for second-half goals after a choppy first 45 minutes.
New Rapids signing Tim Howard was on hand to watch the team he'll join this summer, and spoke to ESPN commentator Taylor Twellman at halftime. He might've been encouraged to see Powers rise well to thump home a Marco Pappa delivery and push the visitors ahead some 20 minutes from full time.
But Espindola came off the bench and scored a late equalizer after a handling mistake by current Colorado 'keeper Zac MacMath left his defense exposed in the 80th minute.
1. Dour day in D.C. – Between the unpleasant early-spring weather, poor passes and the physicality shown by two unstinting defenses, clear scoring chances were few and far between in this one. Particularly grisly: the wayward accuracy in the final third, especially by Colorado, as the MatchCenter stats show. Notably, the teams whipped in a combined 41 crosses, despite both sides featuring towering center backs with dominant aerial abilities.
2. Powers perseveres – Dillon Powers still doesn't appear entirely comfortable in Colorado's No. 10 role, yet again raising the question of whether the Rapids might be well served to "flip the triangle" in midfield and let him sit deeper with the workmanlike duo of Azira and Cronin ahead of him, a la Andrea Pirlo. But Powers is a smart player who adapts well, as he showed with a timely venture forward and strong finish on his goal.
3. Fabi is not done – D.C. have worked hard to get younger and more dynamic this season. Yet today it took a grizzled old hero to rescue them from what would've been an ugly loss in their 2016 MLS home opener. After missing game and practice time first to a hamstring problem, then to the birth of his child, Espindola returned to the spotlight with a clutch goal, keeping his cool amid a chaotic situation in the Rapids box. For now, United need the Argentinean as much as ever.
They Said It
Mastroeni: These are results we couldn't get in the last two years because the mentality wasn't good enough— Seth Vertelney (@svertelney) March 20, 2016
- DC: Saturday, March 26 vs. FC Dallas (5:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
- COL: Saturday, April 2 vs. Toronto FC (8 pm ET, TSN, MLS LIVE)