- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2002

PASADENA, Calif. In analyzing his team's prospects for the season, D.C. United coach Ray Hudson seemed to relish the likely struggle his club will face. "It's us against the world," he said.
After Major League Soccer's opening weekend, here's the score: World 1, United 0.
Or, more accurately: Los Angeles Galaxy 2, United 1.
Carlos Ruiz scored twice including the game-winning goal two minutes into sudden-death overtime in his MLS debut Saturday night in front of 20,602 at the Rose Bowl.
The 22-year-old forward, who has 12 goals in 24 matches for Guatemala's national team, provided the focus for United's physical defense. Ruiz got fouled six times, as United committed 17 fouls while receiving four yellow cards and a red card.
That red card went in the 40th minute to Bobby Convey, who stepped on Ruiz after the forward relinquished the ball. But Ruiz survived and tied the game in the 85th minute.
While marked tightly by Eddie Pope, Ruiz took a pass from Ezra Hendrickson, shielded the ball, pivoted and fired a 19-yard line drive between diving goalkeeper Nick Rimando and the right post.
"I saw a young Jaime Moreno out there," Hudson said of Ruiz. "He's an exciting, volatile, brave player. I don't think many teams will handle him as well as I thought we handled that kid."
Ruiz got his ultimate revenge in the 92nd minute. United defender Milton Reyes tackled Gavin Glinton from behind in the penalty area, and Ruiz converted his penalty kick inside the left post.
Despite the loss, Hudson was encouraged by United's persistent intensity while playing with 10 men for 52 minutes.
"Look at whom we were playing under the circumstances," he said. "I thought the tenacity and character of the team all over the field was admirable.
"We showed a lot of spirit, a lot of fight. I think that's been lacking at D.C. United for a while. We had to contend with a volatile team and I thought we suffocated them pretty well in a defensive pose."
Ali Curtis reflected that tenacity when his one-man counterattack put United ahead in the 76th minute. Curtis took a pass from Santino Quaranta in the center circle, beat Hendrickson and Danny Califf, and fired an 8-yard shot between goalkeeper Matt Reis and the right post.


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