D.C. United forward Patrick Mullins did something no one in MLS history had ever done before: score four goals in just 31 minutes. The goalfest came on September 23rd as D.C. routed the San Jose Earthquakes by a 4-0 scoreline. The former New Orleans Jesters striker provided all of the offense in the dominant victory, giving his team three points that were desperately needed.
Mullins has struggled with injuries this season, but knew his breakthrough was coming and it came against the visiting Quakes, a team that featured former Jesters teammate Andrew Tarbell.
“Bad nights happen, but Andrew’s a great player and he’ll bounce back.” Mullins said. “Andrew’s getting a great opportunity.”
It was certainly not a bad night for Mullins, who last scored a hat trick on August 27, 2016.
“I felt in a good place,” Mullins commented. “I was playing better and better after the injury. I was just waiting to score. I was very happy for the composure I showed. I honestly didn’t realize I set a record at the time.”
The double brace from Mullins earned him Alcatel MLS Player of the Week honors, the second such award of his MLS career.
“I’m proud of that recognition even though I try not to focus on it,” Mullins added. “It’s good to savor it at the time and move on to the next game. I’m proud, but still very hungry for the next opportunity.”
That next opportunity is sure to come soon for someone who already has 23 goals in five MLS seasons. Mullins has starred for three MLS teams, including D.C. United, New York City FC, and the New England Revolution, after winning two Hermann Trophy awards at Maryland. He signed a contract extension with the Black & Red in February.
Yet Mullins recalls his time with the Jesters and the NPSL with great fondness.
“It gave me another place to grow my career,” Mullins continued. “I was still mastering my craft in college and it was great to represent a place that was home to me.”
Mullins praised the work of Kenny Farrell, who provided players with a professional experience from day one. The environment and training provided by Farrell and the Jesters helped prepare the New Orleans, Louisiana native for the professional game.
When asked about his goals moving forward, Mullins came up with a very simple answer.
“I just want to be the best player I can be. I want to be healthy for a full season and be available to contribute to the team.”