Many things were different around RFK Stadium four years ago. Back in 2011, Bill Hamid was still more "promise" than GOTY, Perry Kitchen was an emergency fullback, and the centerback pairing of Dejan Jakovic and Brandon McDonald was still in its early days. Santino Quaranta still wore #25 rather than manning the booth alongside Dave Johnson, and Branko Boskovic was the team's only Designated Player. Oh, and Dwayne De Rosario was only just beginning to make his mark in the Black-and-Red history books.
The first time DeRo faced Toronto FC for D.C. United, the suburban Toronto native put on a clinic in "Punishing One's Former Employers for Their Own Stupidity," scoring a hat trick for his ten-man side to secure a 3-3 draw. Of course, he had some help from Bill Hamid's out-of-control physicality, both defenses being truly bad, and at least one inexplicable interpretation of substitution protocol on the part of referee Jasen Anno, but that's all just setting. It was a force of will I was reminded of this week when Fabian Espindola made his return to Ben Olsen's lineup in the second half of Wednesday night's game against the Fire and inspired los Capitalinos to a three-goal half and a come-from-behind victory.
TFC will be the opponents this weekend at RFK, when, presumably, Espindola will return to the starting XI for just the third time in 2015. We've seen some magic from the Argentine before, and we have yet to see a hat trick in MLS play this year. I'm not sayin' - I'm just sayin'.