- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 15, 2001


FOXBORO, Mass. When it came time to put up or shut up, only one team actually showed up last night at Foxboro Stadium.

Heading into the homestretch of the regular season with a playoff berth as its primary goal, D.C. United took a convincing 3-1 victory against its divisional rival, the New England Revolution.

Santino Quaranta proved the catalyst for United before a near-silent crowd of 14,691 as the 16-year-old striker scored a pair of goals and kept the Revolution defense off balance for much of the game.

United improved to 6-10-1 with the victory and gained sole possession of third place in the Eastern Division. Hapless New England slumped to 4-9-4 with its playoff hopes quickly fading.

"Both teams realized the magnitude of this game," said United coach Thomas Rongen. "We got the result we needed, and I think we could have added a few more goals in the first half."

United has defeated New England three times this season.

Unlike their hosts, United wasted little time getting its offense into gear.

In the fifth minute, New England defender Mauricio Wright turned over the ball to Jaime Moreno, who made a 30-yard run down the left side before serving a perfect cross to the unmarked Quaranta. The teen-ager easily finished from seven yards.

United had two chances to double its lead in the opening half but failed to capitalize. At 25 minutes, Quaranta stole the ball from Jay Heaps and put Chris Albright in on the right side, but Albright failed to muster a shot. In the 39th minute, Moreno got past a flat-footed Wright only to fire wide of the right post.

New England, which was lackluster throughout, didn't manage a legitimate chance to equalize until the 43rd minute when Cate made a strong run down the right side before shooting right at goalkeeper Mark Simpson from 20 yards. At 53 minutes, Johnny Torres put Cate into the top of the United area only to have the Brazilian shoot inches wide of the left post.

"We didn't play with any urgency out there," said Revolution coach Fernando Clavijo. "We didn't come out in the right mindset and we didn't work for each other."

United got a two-goal cushion in the 71st minute when Moreno scored his eighth of the year as he headed in a Marco Etcheverry corner kick.

New England avoided a shutout three minutes before the final whistle when Cate put William Sunsing free on the left side and he beat Simpson from 12 yards out.

Quaranta scored his fifth of the year in stoppage time as he beat Jeff Causey from six yards on the left side.

"I just wanted to put [New England]," said Quaranta. "I got some great balls out there tonight and was really hoping to just get a good shot. We got the result we wanted, but we got into every game expecting to win."

Rongen, who with 80 victories is only two away from becoming the winningest coach in MLS history, praised Quaranta's effort.

"He still has some things to learn," Rongen said, "but he really has a nose for the goal."

Clavijo also lauded Quaranta's performance: "He is an extraordinary young player and he has a great future ahead of him."

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