- The Washington Times - Monday, September 4, 2006

CARSON, Calif. — Christian Gomez commemorated his return to D.C. United’s starting lineup yesterday with his first multi-goal game of the season.

Gomez scored twice in the first half to give United a 2-1 victory over Chivas USA in front of 14,588 at Home Depot Center.

United (14-3-8) thus broke its five-game winless streak, earned its 50th point of the season and maintains its 15-point lead over second-place Chicago in MLS’ Eastern Conference.

“It was an important win for us,” United coach Peter Nowak said. “The whole team was sick and tired of being stuck on 13 wins. Now, we’re moving forward.”

But Gomez will be one of four players unavailable for United’s next league game Saturday night at RFK Stadium against Real Salt Lake.

Gomez, Alecko Eskandarian and Bobby Boswell exceeded their limit of caution points by receiving yellow cards yesterday. Josh Gros was automatically suspended for the next game after getting a red card in stoppage time.

Gomez made an immediate impact against Chivas USA (8-7-10).

The Argentine playmaker scored in the third minute on a 21-yard free kick outside the left edge of the penalty area. Chivas USA goalkeeper Preston Burpo deflected Gomez’s shot into the net while falling backward.

Chivas USA tied the score with its first goal ever against United.

Chivas USA forward Ante Razov found himself between Boswell and Facundo Erpen in the penalty area. Boswell elbowed Razov in the left side of the face while Erpen appeared to kick Razov on the other side of the face.

Claudio Suarez, a member of three World Cup teams for Mexico, converted the penalty kick in the 32nd minute.

One minute later, however, Gomez once again put United ahead.

Gomez secured a loose ball just inside Chivas USA’s half of the field, outran four defenders and converted a soft 17-yard diagonal shot inside the left post for his 10th goal of the season.

Despite his goals, Gomez attributed United’s victory to its improved defense.

“I thought we played a great game, especially tactically,” Gomez said. “We had been allowing space between the midfield and the forwards, and between the midfield and the defense.”

Chivas USA’s best chance to tie came in the 62nd minute. Razov stole the ball from a defender, dribbled toward the goal and kicked a soft shot toward the left post. But United’s Bryan Namoff cleared the ball over the end line.

Gomez left the game with cramps in the 69th minute. Jaime Moreno preceded Gomez off the field in the 56th minute with a knee injury.

Matias Donnet, formerly with Argentine power Boca Juniors, made his MLS debut when he replaced Freddy Adu in the 46th minute.

Fire 2, Red Bulls 1

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Chris Rolfe and Diego Gutierrez scored to lift Chicago past New York.

In the 60th minute, the Fire went up 2-0 when Gutierrez stole the ball from New York’s Seth Stammler. Gutierrez took a few steps forward and rocketed the ball into the lower right corner for his second goal of the season.

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