- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2007

Now that Luciano Emilio has reached the elusive 20-goal mark, the Brazilian is looking to bigger things.

The forward is aiming for Raul Diaz Arce’s franchise mark of 23, which was set in 1996 — MLS‘ inaugural season.

Just three games remain in the regular season, but Emilio, who this week was named the MLS player of the month, will get another chance to add to his tally tonight at the Kansas City Wizards.

“The goal is for the team to keep winning, and if I keep scoring goals that’s even better,” Emilio said. “If there’s an opportunity to break a record I will break it.”

Emilio scored his 20th goal in a 4-1 win over Toronto FC on Saturday at RFK Stadium. Standing just inside the penalty box, Emilio volleyed home Christian Gomez’s free kick that came thundering off the bar.

“That’s just a goal-scorers’ goal,” United coach Tom Soehn said. “He’s opportunistic. If he gets an opportunity he will bury a ball that a lot of guys wouldn’t.”

The last time anyone in the league scored 20 goals was in 2002 when Carlos Ruiz (24) and Taylor Twellman (23) dominated the league. No United player had scored 20 goals since Diaz Arce’s franchise-record season.

The all-time single-season record belongs to Roy Lassiter, who scored 27 times for Tampa Bay in 1996. That likely will prove elusive for Emilio this season.

“Luciano is a guy that chases goals every game, whatever the totals. I don’t think he cares,” Soehn said. “He loves scoring goals, and he loves celebrating goals. He just wants to win games.”

Said United team president Kevin Payne: “Luciano is not done yet. If he’s not the league MVP and the newcomer of the year, there ought to be an investigation.”

United, which boasts an 11-game unbeaten streak in MLS play, enters tonight’s contest with a five-point lead over its nearest rivals, Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA, in the chase for the Supporters Shield. The Shield and the MLS Cup are the last pieces of hardware left for United to claim after the team was eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, U.S. Open Cup, SuperLiga and Copa Sudamericana.

“It’s getting down towards crunch time in the season,” United midfielder Brian Carroll said.

United fell 4-2 to the Wizards in the club’s home opener in April (the team’s only loss at RFK this season). United then defeated the Wizards 1-0 at Arrowhead Stadium on July 4 on a goal by Emilio.

Midfielder Fred (groin) and forward Jaime Moreno (ankle) are questionable for the game.

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