- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 18, 2001

Memo to whomever is going to be D.C. United's first personnel director: think about hiring Curt Onalfo as coach.
Onalfo, a former United defender and last season's assistant coach under since-dismissed Thomas Rongen, directed United to a very improbable result in a meaningless game against a talented, fit, Honduran club in midseason form last night in his first game as interim coach.
Mark Lisi's 89th-minute goal off a free kick enabled United to gain a 2-2 tie against Club Deportivo Olimpia in an international exhibition before 13,154 at RFK Stadium.
For Onalfo, it was a good start for his head coaching aspirations.
"Obviously, it would have been nice to have won the game, and I think we played well enough to do that," Onalfo said.
Santino Quaranta, United's 17-year-old sensation, was fouled by an Olimpia defender at the top of the box. Lisi's free kick deflected off the Olimpia wall and found the net's upper left corner for the equalizer.
"I've been taking a lot of [free kicks] at training, staying after and taking them," Lisi said. "I wanted to go a little bit to the right. The wall was creeping in."
Quaranta, who came on for star Jaime Moreno in the 60th minute, scored United's first goal in the 74th minute with D.C. trailing 2-0. Forward Chris Albright sent a rolling cross to Quaranta as he was sliding through the box. From a yard out, Quaranta beat Olimpia's 20-year-old goalkeeper, Donis Escober, to the right post.
The stakes were much higher the last time these teams met. United beat Olimpia 1-0 in the semifinals of the 1999 CONCACAF Champions Cup on a goal by Moreno.
A.J. Wood, who earned a reputation during his career for scoring goals at Virginia, allowed the game's first goal last night in the 14th minute while playing as a central defender rather than his usual forward spot.
Olimpia forward Gustavo Fuentes scored, but it took a perfect cross from Olimpia forward Wilmer Velasquez to set it up. Olimpia's goal started from the middle of its defensive third when midfielder Danilo Tosello passed the ball out of the center to Velasquez, alone at the midfield stripe on the right wing.
Velasquez took the ball down to the top of the box and sent a low, curling 25-yard pass on the ground to Fuentes. The ball went off Fuentes' right shin and dribbled past United goalkeeper Mark Simpson, who never left his line, and Olimpia led 1-0.
In the 70th minute, Fuentes exposed United's central defense again after Olimpia midfielder Hugo Dominguez looped a high cross into the middle. Fuentes split United defenders Craig Ziadie and Ryan Nelsen and hammered home a 12-yard blast that beat United reserve goalkeeper Mike McGinty, who was called in from United's A-League affiliate Richmond Kickers.
Notes
Former United defender Geoff Aunger was on United's bench last night as Onalfo's top assistant after being waived Friday by the Colorado Rapids. … United's national team defender, Eddie Pope, was a game-time scratch because of a swollen eye.



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