- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2004

Freddy Adu had his best game as a professional. It’s a pity very few fans saw it.

Before the smallest home crowd of the season, Adu kept the league’s best defense busy all night and showed what all the hype is really about as D.C. United snapped a four-game winless streak.

Making his eighth start of the season, Adu scored the game’s first goal in a convincing 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids last night before 10,848 at RFK Stadium.

United (6-8-6) needed the win and the three points in the standings. United is in third place in the MLS Eastern Division with 24 points, one point behind Columbus and trailing the division-leading MetroStars by eight points. New England, which beat Dallas last night, is two points behind United.

The offense went through Adu, who danced through the league’s stingiest defense with his superb ball skills and lightning-quick moves.

With United winless since July3, Adu’s emergence came at a good time. Colorado (6-7-8) strutted onto United’s East Capitol Street pitch having allowed 16 goals this season.

“I felt so comfortable, and I knew what I was doing out there on the field, I knew where to be,” Adu said. “Everything was just there today.”

After United squandered numerous scoring chances, Adu gave United a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute by finishing a 12-yard left-footed shot to the net’s lower left corner.

Rookie midfielder Joshua Gros, a United fourth round (34th overall) draft pick, threaded a perfect ball through two Colorado defenders to Adu. Adu one-timed Gros’ ball inside the left post for his third goal of the season.

“I don’t see anyone in the world who is 15 do things like that,” United coach Peter Nowak said of Adu. “He belongs in this league, the future is bright. We need to keep his feet on the ground and his head not in the clouds.”

Five minutes later, United midfielder Earnie Stewart scored his third goal in two seasons with United when he finished Alecko Eskandarian’s cross from 15 yards for a 2-0 lead.

“Actually, I saw Earnie on a couple plays before that and missed him on a pass,” Eskandarian said. “I told him, ‘I won’t miss you twice.’ I picked my head up and [the Rapids] were all packed in the middle. So, I saw Earnie making a good run again and I just took them out and had a great finish.”

In the 64th minute, United forward Jaime Moreno put the game away when his 8-yard shot deflected off former George Mason star Ritchie Kotschau for an own goal and a 3-0 lead.

While Adu is United’s future, the 30-year-old Moreno reprised the club’s glory days with the goal. The forward took on two defenders, slid the ball through the legs of midfielder Chris Henderson, and his deflected shot had Rapids goalie Joe Cannon diving the wrong way.

Rapids forward John Spencer, a former Scottish national team player, snapped a 13-game goal-less streak in the 73rd minute, reducing United’s lead to 3-1.

The goal started when United right back Brandon Prideaux gave away the ball deep in United’s defensive third to Alberto Delgado, who slid the ball right to Rapids midfielder Mark Chung.

Chung, a nine-year MLS veteran, delivered the ball into Spencer’s path on the right. The 5-foot-7 Spencer fired a 13-yard shot that whistled past United goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

Revolution 3, Burn 0

DALLAS — Pat Noonan and Andy Dorman each had a goal and an assist to lead New England over Dallas.

Fire 2, Earthquakes 1

CHICAGO — Damani Ralph scored on a rebound in the 81st minute to lift Chicago past San Jose in a battle of last-place teams.

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