- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 15, 2004

D.C. United saw a chance to move into second place in MLS’ Eastern Conference standings slip away when New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol made an ingenious move late in the game.

With four minutes left, Nicol sent on English rookie midfielder Andy Dorman, whose first touch gave the Revolution a 2-2 tie before an announced 13,298 last night at rain-soaked RFK Stadium.

With their next three games on the road and the worst road record in the league at 1-6-3, the failure to hold on may come back to haunt United (6-8-7). The Revolution (5-8-8), meanwhile, ran their unbeaten streak to seven games.

“We’re supposed to finish this game before New England’s second goal,” United coach Peter Nowak said. “We got lucky we didn’t lose this game. Jaime [Moreno] was on fire today.”

Moreno scored both goals for United.

Dorman’s 13-yard left-footed strike in the 86th minute hit United harder than the remnants of Hurricane Charley, which contributed a steady downpour all game. The game-tying goal came off a New England corner kick. With the ball bouncing around in the penalty area, Revolution midfielder Richie Baker played the ball to midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who rolled a square pass to Dorman on the left. Dorman side-stepped a United defender and found the net’s lower left corner.

“We were caught offguard, and we paid the price for it,” United defender Bryan Namoff said. “We had [the game]. We dominated. We thought we had the win in the bag after scoring the second goal. Just to give something like that away … it’s devastating.”

Coming off arguably the best performance of his young career, 15-year-old Freddy Adu started for the second straight game as United’s playmaking midfielder. Despite terrible playing conditions, Adu handled RFK’s waterlogged field well, swinging the ball from side to side.

With Adu competently running United’s show, the home team dominated possession and the run of play in the first half but found itself trailing 1-0 in the 38th minute after a goal by Revolution All-Star defender Steve Ralston.

Moreno scored the equalizer a minute later. Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis kicked out a cross by United midfielder Dema Kovalenko. Moreno pounced on the loose ball inside the 6-yard box and tapped in his fifth goal of the season in the 39th minute.

Moreno then gave United its first lead in the 56th minute. Forward Alecko Eskandarian played the ball forward to Moreno outside the penalty area. Moreno collected the ball and ran diagonally across the penalty area from right to left. Reiss came off his line and charged at Moreno, who dribbled around New England’s goalkeeper and slid the ball between two Revolution defenders.

Note — Before last night’s game, United signed Argentinian midfielder Christian Gomez. Gomez, 29, has played with top Argentinian clubs Independiente and Argentinos Juniors. His last club was Argentinian First Division team Arsenal, with which he tallied six goals in 30 games. His signing leaves United with just one open roster spot.

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