- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jaime Moreno is the king of penalty kicks — and more.

Moreno, the league’s all-time leader in penalty kick goals, converted two more and assisted on another goal, leading United to a 4-1 win over Real Salt Lake at RFK Stadium last night before 23,269.

Moreno increased his penalty kick total to 35, and no one else is close. His MLS all-time goals record is up to 115.

“It’s one of those things that I’m good at,” Moreno said.

The win gave United (2-3-0, six points) a boost after one of its worst losses, a 4-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake (1-3-1, four points) two weeks ago.

Two former United players — Dema Kovalenko and Carey Talley — made the errors to hand United the spot kicks, while another former United player, goalie Nick Rimando, faced Moreno’s shots in the nets.

Santino Quaranta scored United’s third goal after converting a wonderful assist from Moreno, while Talley redeemed himself a little, giving Real a late goal.

“Jaime played well tonight and when he does everyone just follows,” Quaranta said.

United coach Tom Soehn tweaked his lineup to give defensive midfielder Dan Stratford his first start, playing the Englishman next to Clyde Simms in hopes of pushing attacking-midfielder Marcelo Gallardo into a more offensive role.

Stratford lasted just 41 minutes before striker Rod Dyachenko, who helped setup Quaranta’s goal, replaced him.

“I think it’s important to get the result, but we have to be hard on ourselves on the day because the soccer was good in the first half,” Soehn said.

United suffered an early blow in the fourth minute, when Fred had a nasty collision with Talley, bruising his right leg. The Brazilian never recovered and was replaced by Marc Burch in the 22nd minute.

United did look ragged in the early going but got a break when Kovalenko handled Burch’s cross in the penalty box and the referee awarded United a penalty kick. Moreno lazily chipped the ball past Rimando to give United the lead in 32nd minute.

“He [Rimando] usually knows where I go and in practice he saved a couple of penalties, so it was a hard decision to do it but it worked,” Moreno said.

Moreno got his second penalty kick off the game in the 52nd minute when Talley tackled Luciano Emilio from just behind the top of the box. It was another generous call by the referee. This time, Moreno hammered the ball to Rimando’s right to make it 2-0.

In the 67th minute, Moreno floated a perfect pass for Quaranta, who side-footed past Rimando for his second goal of the year.

But Gallardo saved the best for last, blasting home a close-range volley from Burch’s long cross. It was a stunning strike that gave the Argentine his second goal of the year.

“That was nice — hopefully goal of the week,” Burch said.

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