- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2003

In its search to find a pure goal scorer, D.C. United has invited English First Division forward Jamie Cureton, who starred with Reading FC last season, for a tryout this week.

Cureton, 27, is not signed with Reading and is available for a free transfer. He will arrive in Washington this week to watch United play the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium on Saturday.

“Obviously his strike-rate per game at a very high level impresses us,” said United coach Ray Hudson. “He’s a very elusive type of forward and he’s scored goals from being an England youth player all the way up his career.”

Cureton scored nine goals in 14 games for Reading in the 2002-2003 season and more than 130 goals in 250-plus league games in his career. He is represented by SFX Sports Group, the powerful sports agency that also represents stars David Beckham and Michael Owen.

Cureton began his career with Norwich in 1994 before moving back to his hometown to play for the Bristol Rovers. At Bristol he was the leading goal scorer in the Second Division with 29 goals in the 1998-1999 season. In 2000 he moved to the Royals in a $407,000 deal.

The 5-foot-8, 150-pound forward helped Reading reach the semifinals of the First Division playoffs last month, when it was beaten by Wolverhampton.

Reading offered him a one-year deal but Cureton is looking for a new club, even if it means playing in the English Second Division or taking a pay cut elsewhere.

His teammate at Reading is American goalie Marcus Hahnemann, who is currently with the U.S. national team.

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