- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 30, 2007

When Luciano Emilio wants to make a statement, he does it in style.

D.C. United’s goal-scoring ace scored his 20th goal of the season with a stunning volley last night as United routed Toronto FC 4-1 at RFK Stadium before 25,174.

With the goal, Emilio became the first United player to score 20 goals in league play since Raul Diaz Arce scored a team-record 23 in the league’s first season in 1996.

“I think I just need to keep scoring goals,” Emilio said. “Records are there to be broken. If I’m at 20 goals now, hopefully I can surpass that in the next couple of games and establish other records that others might break.”

Emilio’s goal came on the heels of three other impressive United goals from Marc Burch, Fred and Jaime Moreno.

Emilio is also the first MLS player to reach the 20-goal mark since Carlos Ruiz (24) of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Taylor Twellman (23) of the New England Revolution in 2002.

United (16-6-5, 53 points) extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games. With three games left, United stayed on pace to recapture the Supporters Shield, which guarantees home field advantage through the playoffs and more importantly, a place in the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.

Toronto FC scored first — in the 14th minute — on a stunning free kick from Welshman Carl Robinson.

Robinson curled the ball over United’s defensive-wall with his right foot, sending it to the right of United goalie Troy Perkins, who had mistakenly taken two steps to his left. For Toronto FC, it was just the second goal in 11 games and only its 20th in 26 games.

After halftime, United coach Tom Soehn put in two veterans he was resting on the bench and the game turned around in United’s favor. Ben Olsen came on for Josh Gros and Moreno came in for Guy-Roland Kpene.

“It’s a fine line in playing so many games and resting guys and finding which pieces fit together,” Soehn said. “Some days it works and some days it doesn’t.”

It didn’t take long for United to find the equalizer. In the 52nd minute, Burch received Fred’s back pass and fired home a goal from 30 yards. It was the former Maryland star’s first career goal. Four minutes later, United was in the lead as Fred scored his seventh goal of the season almost from the same spot as Burch’s effort.

Moreno then scored his all-time leading 112th goal after running into the box and connecting with a pass from Simms, sending a low shot past the goalie to ensure the win. Finally, Emilio fired in a rebound off the bar, adding to Toronto’s misery and ending the team’s playoff hopes.

“It was just a fortunate play off [Christian Gomez’s] free kick and I was just in the right place,” Emilio said.

Toronto’s winless streak is now at 11 games dating to July 4. In that time, it has scored just two goals.

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