- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 24, 2006

A little rest seemed to do Jaime Moreno a world of good even if it was just for 57 minutes.

The weary and oft-injured D.C. United forward sat the bench for the first time this season last night as United faced the New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium. When Moreno finally did enter the game in the second half, he set up Christian Gomez’s go-ahead goal before notching a goal and earning an assist on Matias Donnet’s stunning game-winner as United downed the Red Bulls 4-3 in a classic before 21,727 fans.

It was a much-needed win for United and only the club’s second victory in 10 games.

“We cannot play such a wonderful game and give so many gifts to the other team,” said United coach Peter Nowak, who praised his team but was concerned about giving up three goals.

This was clearly a tighter and more organized Red Bulls team than United had faced early in the season, when it earned a decisive 4-1 road win and two ties.

United got on the scoreboard in the 10th minute with a Red Bulls own-goal. United midfielder Gomez’s curling free kick was inadvertently knocked into the Red Bulls’ net by defender Carlos Mendes, who appeared to be attempting to clear the ball.

In the 20th minute the Red Bulls were awarded a penalty kick when referee Kevin Stott called United defender Facundo Erpen for touching the ball in the box. The video replay showed Erpen instinctively trying to protect his face from Seth Stammler’s powerful shot. New York captain Amado Guevara converted the spot-kick, sending a low shot just inside the post to right of the diving Troy Perkins.

Moreno arrived in the 57th minute and immediately had an impact.

“I felt my legs were fresh and I think it showed in the game, but I won’t say anything until I’m in the final and I hope my legs feel the same in the final,” Moreno said.

Three minutes after stepping on the field, he played a perfect ball from the top of the box right into the path of Gomez, who scored from seven yards out against keeper Tony Meola. After the goal celebration, though, United was left with 10 men when Erpen was given a red card for stamping on John Wolyniec’s foot. It was the fifth red card given to a United player this season.

In the 73rd minute Moreno scored his 105th career goal and 11th of the season, when he collected Ben Olsen’s pass and easily tapped the ball into the net.

“Jaime’s been tired for a while,” midfielder Freddy Adu said jokingly. “I think we should just sub Jaime in every game for the last 30 minutes so he will just come in and be a hundred percent the whole time.”

Guevara got his second goal on the night from a free kick in the 82nd minute. Then Donnet scored his first goal for the club with a long-range shot that left Meola helpless with one minute left in regulation time. But it still wasn’t over: The Red Bulls added another goal from 16-year-old Josmer Altidore.

With the win, United has earned a 2-0-2 record against the Red Bulls this season and claimed the Atlantic Cup trophy awarded to the winner of the series between the teams.

The Red Bulls have now only won two of their last nine games since Bruce Arena took over on Aug. 16.

Note — Former United midfielder Marco Etcheverry was inducted into the club’s “Tradition of Excellence” during halftime last night. His name will now join former United captain John Harkes on the banner that hangs at RFK. …

United also honored the 1996 team that won the first MLS Cup and launched its Alumni Association, which will serve to connect all former United players.

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