- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2005

CARSON, Calif. — As Major League Soccer commemorated the birth of a new team yesterday, some of D.C. United’s younger players made their own imprints before 18,493 at Home Depot Center and a national television audience.

Two players in their second professional season, one in his first and another making his first appearance in nearly a year played pivotal roles in United’s 2-0 victory over Club Deportivo Chivas USA, one of two expansion teams.

Josh Gros matched his goal-scoring output from last year when he converted Brian Carroll’s cross in the 32nd minute. Carroll’s assist equaled his total from last season.

Santino Quaranta, who played just three games last year because of injury, made Christian Gomez’s goal in the 76th minute possible with a solo run.

But rookie Bobby Boswell made perhaps the most important statement with his consistent play in Ryan Nelsen’s old position in the middle of United’s backline. The 22-year-old developmental player from Florida International, made three significant plays in four minutes during the second half.

In the 64th minute, Boswell blocked Mexican World Cup veteran Ramon Ramirez, forcing him to the left and enabling Brandon Prideaux to steal the ball.

One minute later, Boswell thwarted a counterattack by beating Antonio Martinez to the ball on the left flank after Martinez raced past Prideaux.

Then in the 68th minute, Boswell cut in front of Ezra Hendrickson to deflect the ball with a high touch in the penalty area after Hendrickson’s combination with Hector Cuadros.

“It’s a great starting point for Bobby,” defender Mike Petke said. “I don’t want to call him the best player ever. But if he keeps going the way he has been, he’s going to be a great player to see.”

Despite making his first professional start on national television, Boswell felt composed afterward.

“I was just trying to focus on playing it simple and not making any mistakes,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I held up my end. I want to make sure the guys have confidence in me.”

Gros scored the MLS season’s first goal after Nick Rimando stopped Chivas USA’s best scoring chance in the 16th minute. Rimando dived to his right to deflect Cuadros’ 28-yard free kick away from the post with his right hand.

Jaime Moreno began the first scoring play by initiating a counterattack. Moreno passed to Carroll on the left flank and saw goalkeeper Brad Guzan guarding the left post.

Carroll crossed the ball to the unmarked Gros, who charged toward the right post as Guzan reacted late and redirected the ball under the crossbar from seven yards.

“It definitely opened up the game for us,” Petke said of Gros’ goal. “They were scrambling, pushing more guys forward, trying to get that goal.”

But Chivas USA merely played into United’s hands.

“The counterattack was on all game,” Gros said. “It was pretty easy the way Chivas played. They had all their guys up and a big gap in between.”

Quaranta, who missed most of last year because of an injured groin, entered the game in the 68th minute and enabled Gomez to score after cutting to his left and eluding two defenders.

After tripping, Quaranta passed to Gomez, who chipped the ball from 10 yards inside the left post.

“I’m having fun again,” Quaranta said. “From the preseason until now, I feel like I have a good chance to score or cause a goal in every game I play. I’m excited about the coming year.”

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