After not putting a ball in an opponent’s goal in its first two MLS matches in July, D.C. United was in need of a solid offensive effort last night. Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno responded with the kind of overpowering performance United rarely has seen this year.
Gomez scored twice and Moreno added a goal and an assist as United defeated San Jose 3-0 before 13,978 at RFK Stadium.
United (7-6-4) kept the San Jose defense on its toes the entire game, quickly clearing balls played into United territory and keeping play in the neutral zone or around the San Jose goal. The Earthquakes (7-4-7) only had three shots on goal.
In return, United found plenty of scoring chances. Gomez continually hounded Earthquakes goalie Pat Onstad, taking four of United’s nine shots. Gomez’s persistence paid off at the 24:14 mark when his shot from outside the penalty area sailed just left of Onstad’s reach and into the goal.
“Christian is very dangerous around the goal,” United coach Peter Nowak said. “He’s a very special player. Everyone trusts him with the ball.”
Gomez struck again in the 70th minute to solidify the lead. Moreno received the ball on a breakaway, shook a defender and crisply passed the ball to Gomez, who fired a shot before Onstad could react. Gomez is now tied for the team high in goals, with eight this year.
Nowak pulled Gomez from the game at 72:02. As Gomez walked off the field, teammates embraced him and the crowd at RFK gave him a standing ovation.
United went into halftime ahead 1-0 and padded its lead in the early moments of the second half. Moreno received a cross by Josh Gros with his chest, settled the ball and fired a shot into the lower left corner of the net in the 50th minute. It was Moreno’s eighth goal this season.
With the win, United now has 25 points and moved into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with Kansas City (25 points) and ahead of the MetroStars (24).
“We finished,” United forward Freddy Adu said. “We didn’t die like we did last game. I think it’s the beginning of a pretty big thing. Everything was jelling.”
In the other two games this month, United won 1-0 at Columbus on an own goal from the Crew and then lost 1-0 at home to Kansas City.