- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 14, 2002

U.S. World Cup star Brian McBride sent D.C. United to the bottom of the Major League Soccer standings. And for the first time in coach Ray Hudson's tenure, United was booed by its home fans.
McBride scored two goals as the Columbus Crew easily defeated United 3-1 last night before 13,665 at RFK Stadium.
This was just United's second home loss of the season. But the loss was huge as far as the postseason is concerned, as United dropped into the cellar of the 10-team league with 19 points. The Crew snapped a three-game losing streak with the win.
"Embarrassing, pathetic, woeful. This was the most dismal performance of the season," Hudson said of his team, which is struggling even to create scoring chances. "We have players here that are not good enough."
United started the game without two of its best attacking weapons midfielder Marco Etcheverry and forward Santino Quaranta. Etcheverry, United's only real playmaker, injured his left hamstring and thigh in practice on Thursday. Etcheverry came on for Petter Villegas in the 67th minute but was a non-factor.
Etcheverry was so mad afterward he announced that this would be his last season in MLS.
"I have three more months left on my contract, and I will work as hard as I did the first six years," Etcheverry said. "I play in this country to help the sport and see this stadium full. I'm still going to play. I just have three more months left on my contract here in D.C."
Meanwhile, this was the third straight game all losses Quaranta has missed with an abdominal strain. The outlook on Quaranta, who is United's leading scorer with 10 points (three goals and four assists), is not good; he is expected to miss two or three more weeks.
The Crew (6-8-3) seized control midway through the first half on McBride's first goal of the game in the 27th minute. Crew forward Dante Washington started the play with a ball from the midfield to fellow Columbia, Md., native and midfielder Brian West on the right flank.
West dribbled to the edge of the 18-yard box and rolled a cross through the middle of the box to a cutting McBride. With United right back Milton Reyes behind McBride, the U.S. national team star put the Crew on the scoreboard from eight yards out with a right-foot tap to the left post that made it 1-0. With the goal, McBride extended his points streak to four games.
"One person can never take a game by himself," McBride said. "Everybody stepped up. Service to me on the goal was great."
United (6-9-1) evened the match 12 minutes later in the 39th minute on Bobby Convey's second goal of the season and third of his career. Poor Crew defending left Convey unmarked at the top of the 6-yard box, and he headed in a perfect Villegas cross past Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch to tie the game 1-1.
While United was too busy celebrating Convey's goal, McBride made it pay for its cheerleading just seconds later officially the 40th minute.
From the restart, the Crew sent the ball back to defender Brian Dunseth, who played a long ball into the left corner. Midfielder Eric Denton, who played a year and a half (2000-01) for United, took Dunseth's ball all the way to the touchline and delivered a 30-yard cross into the box. Again, Reyes was late on the play and allowed Denton to get off a cross.
McBride timed Denton's offering perfectly and nodded the ball just inside the post leaving United goalkeeper Nick Rimando with no chance making it 2-1. It was McBride's third goal since returning from the World Cup in Korea and Japan three weeks ago.
"That [goal] just killed them and their chance to get some momentum," McBride said.
The Crew weren't done. In the 50th minute, Crew midfielder John Wilmar Perez scored his first goal of the season. A poor clearance by United defender Eddie Pope inside his own box set up Perez. Pope managed only to head the head the ball out to the top of the 18-yard box, where Perez was waiting. With his right foot, Perez drove Pope's clearance 20 yards to the right post to put the game away.
"It was terrible," Hudson said. "I apologize to our fans. They paid their hard-earned money to watch that."


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