- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2008

D.C. United midfielder Joe Vide is known primarily for harassing opposing forwards and doing the dirty work in the defensive half of the field.

But when the opportunity for a goal rose just before halftime Saturday night, Vide made sure he buried the chance. His goal was the difference maker in United’s 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids before 17,283 at RFK Stadium.

“It’s a rarity that I’m up even near the box, but Luciano [Emilio] did a good job controlling the ball, and I saw an opportunity to hit the ball and keep it on frame,” Vide said. “It’s nice. I’ve seen a lot of those [shots] go to the corner flag or over the goal.”

United midfielder Santino Quaranta, who is known for his quick footwork, scored a stunning strike late in the match, while substitute Quavas Kirk added a goal as soon as he stepped on the field in 87th minute.

For United, the home win was vital as it begins the last third of its season. Woeful on the road, the injury-plagued club is stuck in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with only four home games left.

The game produced little to savor in the first 44 minutes.

“It took us a while to find our rhythm and flow,” United coach Tom Soehn said. “Once we opened them, we created chances.”

The game finally came alive right before the half when Vide put United ahead with his first career goal.

With two defenders on his back, Emilio controlled the ball in the box and set up the shot for Vide, who right-footed a powerful drive from 19 yards past Rapids keeper Preston Burpo.

“It was a tight game and it was good for us to put away a chance in the first half and get the momentum,” the former Virginia player said.

The Rapids responded immediately and United goalie Louis Crayton, making his home debut, made a big save on a shot from Jose Burciaga. Crayton recorded his second shutout in three matches with United.

After sitting on the bench for 58 minutes, former United star Christian Gomez, who has fallen out of favor with new Rapids coach Gary Smith, finally entered the game but could do little to revive his team.

Having used all their substitutes, the Rapids were down to 10 men when captain Pablo Mastroeni pulled a hamstring late in the game. United took advantage of the situation and Quaranta fired home a blistering shot from just inside the box on the right flank in the 82nd minute.

“It was a special goal for me,” an emotional Quaranta said. “Today is August 23rd - 10 months since I went to [drug rehab in] California.”

Kirk topped off the night with his first career goal in the same minute he entered the game as a late substitute. Burpo failed to hold on to Bryan Namoff’s header, but Kirk finished off the rebound.

“I’ve never scored a goal that quick before,” Kirk said.

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