- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 16, 2003

D.C. United’s youngsters got the start, but in the end it was the old guard that made the difference.

United coach Ray Hudson started his entire rookie class, giving three players their first action with the club. When it came to scoring, however, the veterans handled the load.

Eliseo Quintanilla assisted on first-half goals by defender Mike Petke and midfielder Dema Kovalenko as United defeated the A-League’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 last night in a third-round U.S. Open Cup game before 3,073 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds. United will play the Virginia Beach Mariners on Aug.6 in the Cup’s fourth round.

Last week Quintanilla stormed off United’s practice field after assistant coach John Trask yelled at him. Last night, though, Quintanilla made all the noise.

“I think I could have done even more tonight. Obviously, I haven’t played in a while, and I’m a little out of rhythm,” Quintanilla said. “But if I continue to get playing time, I think I will be better and hopefully get a chance to get into the starting lineup.”

After enduring season-long criticism for not using his younger players, Hudson appeased United’s fans last night by starting seven players under 22. Hudson gave goalkeeper Doug Warren, midfielder Brian Carroll and defender David Stokes their first starts.

Warren allowed a Riverhounds goal that made things interesting in the final 15 minutes, but United survived some dicey moments down the stretch to preserve the win. Afterward, Hudson was not impressed with how his younger players allowed the Riverhounds back into the game.

“They’ve got a long, long, long way to go, and it showed tonight,” Hudson said. “I’m disappointed with some of their performances. I thought the veterans all played great parts, but there are some young guns in there that are woefully short of where they think they are.”

With Earnie Stewart, Bobby Convey and Marco Etcheverry unavailable for the game and Hristo Stoitchkov on the bench, a key question coming into the game was who would take free kicks and corner kicks for United.

Answer: Quintanilla.

Before last night, United had attempted 95 corner kicks this season without scoring a goal. Quintanilla, United’s 20-year-old midfielder, ended the drought in the 33rd minute.

Quintanilla curled his corner kick to the top of the 6-yard box, from where the unmarked Petke headed the ball into the upper left corner for his third goal of the season. Petke, a six-year Major League Soccer veteran, was acquired in the offseason, along with an allocation and a first-round draft pick from the MetroStars, for Jaime Moreno, Eddie Pope and Richie Williams.

Eleven minutes later, Kovalenko, who is suspended for Saturday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes for a red card he received in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire, gave United an insurance goal just before halftime.

Quintanilla started the second goal when he played a ball out of central midfield to rookie forward Alecko Eskandarian at the top of the 18-yard box. Eskandarian ran with the ball from right to left along the top of the box and was tackled by the Riverhounds’ David Wright.

Quintanilla alertly picked up the loose ball and chipped it to Kovalenko running off the right wing. From 6 yards, Kovalenko ripped a right-footed rocket that beat Riverhounds goalkeeper Randy Dedini to the far left post.

The Riverhounds cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 74th minute on a goal by Thiago Martins. Martins, the second-best goal scorer in the A-League this season with 12, volleyed a one-bounce cross past Warren.


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