D.C. United forward Fabian Espindola has eight goals and eight assists this season. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post )

There’s a special connection forming up top, and it could push Eddie Johnson out of D.C. United’s starting lineup.

Fabian Espindola made his return as a starter on Sunday against Colorado after a two-month injury absence. The Argentine linked up at forward with the red-hot Luis Silva, and the duo scored three of United’s four goals in a 4-2 win.

There is clearly a chemistry forming between the two players.

“They just understand each other, and it can be a beautiful thing,” coach Ben Olsen said of the duo following the game. “The two times they have been paired up Silva has five goals, and like I said, sometimes when you like playing with someone it translates on the field.”

Espindola is an MVP candidate, and Silva has scored seven goals in his past nine games. So where does that leave Johnson?

The designated player has just four goals this season (two from the penalty spot) and was serving the first of a two-game suspension — earned by kicking the ball at a player on the ground — during the Colorado game.

Johnson did help his cause by scoring against Waterhouse FC in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday, but Saturday’s match at Sporting Kansas City may determine his future.

If Silva and Espindola shine again while Johnson sits due to suspension, Olsen may find it hard to break the pairing up, which could lead to Johnson being benched for the first time this season.

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