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  • D.C. United fans were treated to another memorable occasion as it gets set to exit RFK Stadium, while fellow former powerhouse LA takes DCU's place at the bottom of our MLS Power Rankings.
By Brian Straus
September 26, 2017

D.C. United’s home finale, Ben Olsen said, “is going to be a whole other animal.” That match next month against the rival New York Red Bulls will be the last one at RFK Stadium and for the hosts, it’ll be as much about decades of nostalgia as what’s happening on the field.

So Saturday’s game against San Jose was, in a sense, a soft closing. It was the final regular regular season game at the venerable yet crumbling edifice, and it turned out to be one to remember. If next month’s game is “going to be show,” as Olsen said, then Saturday’s was one that reminded everyone what RFK once was like on the regular, when the goals were flowing and the stands bouncing.

A season high of 25,000-plus fans turned out to see forward Patrick Mullins score the fastest four goals by one player in MLS history. He broke the deadlock in the 57th minute and netted his fourth, on a well-taken free kick, in the 88th. It speaks to D.C.’s struggles this season that Mullins, who hadn’t scored all year, now is his team’s second-leading scorer. And Olsen hadn’t forgotten those struggles post-game when he said, “in some ways [the win] pisses me off that we’re in the situation that we are, because we have a good group.”

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But both saw the bigger picture—that in a lost season and at the end of an era, this was an evening to savor.

“I think the fans deserve that. I think that was the mission going into this game. We haven’t done enough at home to entertain, to meet the fans’ goals for us as a team,” Mullins said.

“There are real players out there that can make a difference and we just didn’t do it enough this year,” Olsen said. “The fans tonight were unbelievable. The upper bowl was open and the glow was out. This was a great night at RFK.”

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And with that, D.C. climbs off the bottom of the ranking thanks to its fourth win in six games and Mullins’s four-goal show. Teams on the outside of the playoff picture look for positives where they can find them.

Meanwhile, Toronto FC holds on to the top spot despite losing two straight, and the Vancouver Whitecaps surge beneath the Reds ahead of a massive pair of games against Seattle and Sporting Kansas City in a tight Western Conference.

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