- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 26, 2002

D.C. United plays its last game of the year tonight, taking on El Salvador's top club, CD Aguila, at RFK Stadium in an exhibition. It also could be Jaime Moreno's last game in a United jersey.
"The guys will be on vacation as soon as the game finishes, and we would like to go out on a high note," United coach Ray Hudson said. United finished 9-14-5 this season and failed to make the playoffs for the third year in a row.
As for Moreno, the greatest striker in United history, his future with the team is uncertain because his contract with Major League Soccer has expired.
"I would like to stay, but at the same time I'm 28, almost 29," Moreno said yesterday. "I think I'm reaching the top of my career. I would really love to go back to Europe."
After scoring 66 goals for United over the previous six years, Moreno, one of the team's highest-paid players, struggled to find his form this season and managed just three goals in 16 games.
"The league has treated me really well and given me so much respect," Moreno said, "I would love to stay here, but at the same time it has always been my goal to go back to Europe." Moreno previously played for English club Middlesbrough.
Hudson has invited former United defender Brian Kamler and Chicago Fire defender Jim Curtin to suit up for United as guest players. Kamler played for the New England Revolution in their 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy in Sunday's MLS Cup.
The core of United's starting defense is ailing. Eddie Pope is out with a knee injury along with Ryan Nelsen (knee sprain) and Brandon Prideaux (broken foot).
United's Salvadoran midfielder, Eliseo Quintanilla, will take on the playmaking role in place of captain Marco Etcheverry, who had surgery on his right knee this week. Reserves Justin Mapp and Ali Curtis are expected to see extended play.
"I look forward to playing against my old teammates," said Quintanilla, who joined United from Aguila in July.
The game also will see the return of former United star striker Raul Diaz Arce, who signed a one-year contract with Aguila last month after leaving the Charleston Battery in the A-League. Diaz Arce scored 44 goals in 68 regular-season games for United in two stints with the club (1996-1997 and 2000-2001) and is MLS's second all-time leading goal scorer with 82 in 150 games. He was a favorite with Salvadoran fans in the Washington area but was traded after the club's 1997 season. Angry reaction to the trade stunned United officials. A large bloc of fans abandoned the club and would turn up at RFK Stadium only to cheer on Salvadoran players competing against United.
United hopes tonight's game will placate some of those disgruntled fans. Said Hudson: "This will be a good night for our loyal El Salvadoran fans."
United is planning a return game against Aguila in El Salvador later in the MLS offseason.
Aguila, based in the city of San Miguel, is arguably El Salvador's most popular team. The club has captured 13 national league titles and is currently third in the nation's 10-team league.
United met Aguila once before in a friendly in El Salvador on Nov.1, 2000. United won 2-1 on goals by Diaz Arce.
Although tonight's game is another friendly, United's players are taking it seriously.
"Nobody is safe on this team," midfielder Ben Olsen said. "After last season, we all have to play hard in this game."
United notes Midfielder Eliseo Quintanilla has been called up to play for El Salvador's under-20 national team in the CONCACAF Group B qualifying tournament in Charleston, S.C., beginning Nov.13. El Salvador will be competing against the United States, Haiti and Canada. The top two teams advance to the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates in March.
Against the U.S. team, Quintanilla will face United teammates Bobby Convey, Santino Quaranta and Justin Mapp. Quintanilla then will head back to El Salvador to join his nation's under-22 team at the Central American and Caribbean Games (Nov.23-Dec.7) in San Salvador. Jose Alegria, United's Peruvian midfielder, will head to Peru next week to train with top team Alianza Lima.
The dearth of English goalies? English soccer once produced some of the world's greatest goalkeepers Gordan Banks, Ray Clemence and Peter Shilton but now only five of the starting goalies in the 20-team Premier League are English.
Three Finnish goalies are starting in the league, along with two Americans (Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel), two Danes, two Dutch and two Irish. The other goalies come from France, Italy, Poland and Australia.
College note Former Maryland Bays player Omid Namazi was named coach of the San Diego Spirit of the Women's United Soccer Association.

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