July 21, 2014

Silva Providing Offensive Spark for DC United

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In overcoming an early season ankle injury, Luis Silva has led DC United's offense and has them rolling as one of the MLS's hottest teams. Now on a three-match winning streak, United has relished in the return of their attacking midfielder who has scored five goals in five games.

On Sunday, Silva helped seal United's fourth win in five matches with a goal in the 70th minute. The former Gaucho was dealt a beautiful ball from Chris Korb from the left flank and buried his shot to the far post against fellow UCSB alumnus Dan Kennedy in a one-on-one opportunity.

DC United now sits just one point behind reigning MLS champion Sporting Kansas City for first place in the East.

Silva missed a month of the season due to an ankle injury he suffered in a March 8 game against Chicago. The former UCSB midfielder ('12) was a perennial starter for DC United before then and had to slowly work his way back onto the pitch, playing just 58 minutes in the span of five game appearances.

However, he jumped back into a starting role on June 7 during the club's match with the Columbus Crew. He played 62 minutes in the 0-0 draw and recorded a shot. 

"It's frustrating at times," Silva told Roman Stubbs of the Washington Post. "You just got to play through it. It happens to everybody and you just got to try and make the best of it."

It was a promising sign, but Silva really showed he was back with a hat trick in Montreal, scoring on all three of his shots and leading DC United to a 4-3 victory. It was the midfielder's first hat trick since high school, as he previously scored eight goals in his professional career before that match.

Recently, Silva has found the back of the net in consecutive games, the first time since Sept. 2013 when he scored in each of his first three games with DC United. He netted what proved to be the game-clinching goal at San Jose off a cross from Chris Rolfe when he beat out a defender with a sliding touch in the six-yard box.    

While with the Gauchos, Silva was one of UCSB's primary scoring threats, as he tallied the program's fourth-most goals in a single season with 17 in 2011. That year, he also tied the Gaucho record in single season points with 44 (Rob Friend, 2002).

That spectacular senior campaign made Silva the fourth overall pick to Toronto FC in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. After nearly two full seasons in Toronto, Silva was traded to DC where he has been one of the team's leading scorers with eight goals in the 22 matches he has started.  

Season tickets for 2014 UCSB men's soccer, sponsored by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, are currently on sale by clicking here or calling 805-893-UCSB (8272).

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