- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2002

D.C. United coach Ray Hudson liked what he saw Saturday, and that means midfielders Bobby Convey and Lazo Alavanja are out of the starting lineup.
Coming off a 4-2 victory over the archrival New York/New Jersey MetroStars on Saturday United's best performance since a 5-0 smoke job over the New England Revolution last May Hudson is going to keep the same lineup when United plays its next game against the Revolution on June 8 at RFK Stadium.
Convey, who sat out Saturday with a rib cage contusion, has lost his starting left-flank midfield job to Jose "Chino" Alegria. Hudson said he will not save positions because of injury. And when he went to a 4-4-2 alignment against the MetroStars, Alavanja became the odd-man out.
"It really delighted me as a coach because it all came together," Hudson said. "We came from behind twice, and that's great resilience. I can't see that lineup changing unless somebody gets injured. When the bugle called for Alegria, for me he put on a five-star performance. I've got to repay that sort of effort with confidence. Chino seized his opportunity."
Convey, 18, has just one assist in 592 minutes (seven starts) this season. Alegria, 21, may lack Convey's speed and pace on the flank, but the Peruvian junior international makes up for it with his good possession skills, ability to move without the ball and awareness to play balls from the flank back into the middle to Marco Etcheverry, United's exquisite playmaker.
"It's unfortunate that Bobby had to miss the game because of injury that's a tough break," Hudson said. "[Alegria] came through resoundingly with a big chest-thumping performance for me. It was his industry, his responsibility, his sweetness on the ball, his gamesmanship. You couldn't fault him. When I watched the game twice, he was even more impressive. The true unsung hero in that performance was Alegria."
United's four-goal outburst has Hudson thinking about acquiring another midfielder instead of pursuing a striker. United has been negotiating with Scottish forward Paul Dalglish, who played this past season in England's First Division for Wigan Athletic, but those plans may have changed.
With forward Jaime Moreno almost completely fit and coming off a two-goal, one-assist performance and forward Santino Quaranta (two assists) compatible with Moreno, it appears United may not need another goal scorer after all.
"I don't want to displace [Quaranta]," Hudson said of bringing in an international forward. "I've got a feeling it may be an extra midfield player. The midfield player might be the one to go after right now and attack more from numbers in the middle than throwing another body up front."


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