- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2002

Jaime Moreno is back, and in a big way.
Moreno took it upon himself to rid D.C. United of its goal-scoring woes and did so in dramatic fashion.
In just his second start of the season, Moreno scored two goals and added an assist to lead United to an impressive 4-2 victory over the New York/New Jersey MetroStars before 20,105 in the nightcap of a soccer doubleheader with the Washington Freedom last night at RFK Stadium.
Moreno said he's not fully fit after undergoing offseason knee surgery, but United coach Ray Hudson was more than pleased with his performance for a team that has averaged less than a goal a game this season.
"Moreno was such an antagonist, an artist that teased, you know like a big, buxom strip-tease artist," Hudson said. "Just absolutely fabulous, always wanting more."
Moreno's play made up for his missed penalty kick in the 96th minute of last week's 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew and certainly made it look as if he is back to his old form.
"Not yet, but I think I had a great performance," Moreno said of his surgically-repaired right knee. "I'm not at 100 percent and my leg doesn't feel 100 percent."
A less than 100 percent Moreno is better than most Major League Soccer players. MetroStars coach Octavio Zambrano should have seen this coming. After all, Moreno has scored 17 goals in 22 games against the MetroStars.
"Jaime Moreno and Marco [Etcheverry] are definitely, and have been since the league started, the best foreigners in this league and they continue to be," Zambrano said.
The game had just gotten under way when disaster struck United (3-5-1). Referee Kevin Stott whistled second-year defender Ryan Nelsen for taking down MetroStars forward Darin Lewis in the penalty area. Rodrigo Faria, the MetroStars' exciting young midfielder, took the penalty kick and beat goalkeeper Nick Rimando to his right for a 1-0 lead.
Despite falling behind early, United played arguably its best best half of possession soccer all season. Etcheverry showed his old form, defender Milton Reyes finally displayed his attacking ability, Jose Alegria nearly scored a goal, and everybody else tightly marked the MetroStars all over the field.
United's fine soccer paid off 13 minutes after the MetroStars goal when Moreno scored his first goal of the season.
Nelsen atoned for his defensive mistake by threading a 60-yard ball to Reyes rushing down the right flank. Reyes took Nelsen's ball to the touchline, brought it back out and dropped it off to Moreno at the top of the 18-yard box. Moreno, who is United's all-time leading goal scorer, dribbled once to his right, set himself up, and sent a blistering 15-yard shot into the roof of the net to tie the game in the 16th minute.
Last week's trade with the MetroStars that shipped United midfielder Mark Lisi and defender Craig Ziadie to New York for midfielder Petter Villegas and defender Orlando Perez, came back to bite United in the 62nd minute when Lisi scored his first goal of the year against his former teammates.
MetroStars forward Tab Ramos, who anounced his retirement last Tuesday, served a corner kick into the 6-yard box where Lisi went between Reyes and Nelsen and headed the ball past Rimando to give the MetroStars (3-5-1) a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute.
Four minutes later, Villegas made a case for United getting the best end of the trade with the MetroStars when he collected a Santino Quaranta through ball on the right flank, turned defender Brian Kamler around and sent a low, 6-yard left-footed drive into the net to tie the score.
United took a 3-2 lead in the 73rd minute on beautiful play between Moreno and Etcheverry. At the top of the 18-yard box, Moreno faked MetroStars defender Mike Petke into believing he was going to take a shot. Instead, Moreno rolled a square pass to Etcheverry, who finished from 16 yards with his patented left foot for his second goal of the season.


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