Quaranta provides spark

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Santino Quaranta admits he’s in a zone, and that’s good news for D.C. United.

“I don’t want to sound cocky, but when you are in a zone you feel like the best player on the field,” the midfielder said. “I feel fitter and faster, and that gives me more confidence.”

Quaranta’s feisty attacking play in a three-minute span led to two goals in United’s 3-2 win over Toronto on Saturday.

“When he runs at players at full pace he is a very dangerous player, and we want him to do more of that,” coach Tom Soehn said.

Playing mostly on the left flank against Toronto, Quaranta earned a penalty kick that Jaime Moreno converted. Then Luciano Emilio stabbed home a rebound off one of Quaranta’s shots for the game-winner.

“I just wasn’t fit enough in the past,” Quaranta said. “I knew I had the pace, I just didn’t use it enough. Now I feel confident to make those runs, and I know I can be dangerous when I do. My teammates are telling me to run at guys when I’m in the final third.”

Quaranta hopes to put his speed to good use tonight when United (3-7-0, nine points) visits the New England Revolution (6-3-1, 19 points.).

“The Revolution plays with three defenders at the back, and [midfielder] Fred and I hope to exploit that,” Quaranta said. “I’ll run at them until I pass out.”

Quaranta has played in all of United’s games this season, starting in seven and earning two goals and two assists.

United hopes to end its road losing streak tonight. The club hasn’t won on the road since downing FC Dallas 4-0 on Sept. 1.

“It’s been a long time,” United defender Devon McTavish said. “The key to getting that win at New England is defense - not to let them get shots. We’ve go the talent up top that knows how to finish. Now we just have to keep the ball out of our net.”

The Revolution are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with Chicago and Columbus.

“We need to play smart, and we need good management,” defender Bryan Namoff said. “We don’t want to send everybody forward in the first seven minutes.”

United won the last meeting at the Revolution 3-0 on Aug. 5.

“We can’t just win one game and then go back and lose another one,” Moreno said. “We need to try and get a win on the road.”

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