- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2001


Abdul Thompson Conteh couldn't make the same shot twice.

Conteh tied the game on a D.C. breakaway but missed two other opportunities on breakaways as D.C. United played to a 1-1 overtime tie last night with the Colorado Rapids in the second game of a weather-delayed doubleheader before 30,271 at RFK Stadium.

Earlier, an electrical storm forced a 50-minute delay in a game between the Washington Freedom and the Carolina Courage.

It was the first tie of the season for United (5-8-1). Conteh scored the equalizer in the 58th minute. Marco Etcheverry, United's brilliant central playmaker, started the goal when he played a 6-yard pass to forward Jaime Moreno on the right. Moreno saw Conteh and played his 20-yard pass through the Rapids' defense to Conteh.

Conteh took Moreno's ball and dribbled around goalkeeper Scott Garlick, who came off his line to challenge him at the top of the 6-yard box. When Conteh got around Garlick, all he had to do was lightly roll the ball into an empty net.

The goal was Conteh's ninth of the season, tying him with Miami's Alex Pineda Chacon for second place among Major League Soccer scorers. Conteh also had breakaways stuffed by Garlick in the 96th and 68th minutes.

The two teams will meet again Wednesday in Denver.

United coach Thomas Rongen wasted no time getting newly obtained defender Scott Vermillion on the field. Vermillion, acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Mutiny on Thursday for left-footed defender Eric Denton, started at right back.

Vermillion began Thursday as a member of the Rapids, then was part of a blockbuster deal between the Rapids and Mutiny that sent him, goalkeeper Adin Brown and a first-round draft pick to Tampa Bay for Garlick and midfielders Carlos Valderrama and Ritchie Kotschau.

When the smoke cleared, United dealt Denton for Vermillion straight up. In starting Vermillion, Rongen benched defender Carey Talley, who had started all 11 matches he had appeared in. Rongen also benched rookie defenders Craig Ziadie and Ryan Nelsen.

Defense wasn't United's problem until the 41st minute, when Rapids midfielder Imad Baba scored his first goal of the season. Left alone at the top of the 18-yard box, Baba unloaded a left-footed blast that found the net's left corner. Defender Mark Watson was slow to get over to Baba, whose 20-yard delighted Salvadoran fans who had come to cheer former United star Raul Diaz Arce.

When Diaz Arce played for United during the first two months of the season, most Salvadorans never showed up. But after he was traded by United for a second time June 13, Diaz Arce's fans reappeared.

When Baba scored the first half's only goal, RFK erupted with plenty of blue-and-white Salvadoran flags waving wildly.

Late in the first half, Santino Quaranta, United's 16-year-old sensation, was forced from the game with a bruised thigh after colliding with Rapids midfielder Paul Bravo. Forward Chris Albright came in for Quaranta in the 33rd minute.

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