- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 15, 2008

The revival of Luciano Emilio continues.

Emilio scored three goals Saturday night - his first MLS hat trick - as D.C. United beat the New York Red Bulls 4-1 at RFK Stadium.

After scoring just one goal in the first nine games of the season, the Brazilian striker has scored in United’s last four games. He leads the team with seven goals.

“It was a collective effort,” said Emilio, who led the league with 20 goals last season. “There was a lot of good passes on my goals, and the other one was a rebound and happen to be there at the right time. My confidence is very high and everyone too in the locker room, and that’s good for us.”

With the win United (5-7-1, 16 points) extended its unbeaten streak to four games and passed the Red Bulls (4-4-3, 15 points) in the Eastern Conference standings.

Clyde Simms scored United’s other goal, and Santino Quaranta was involved in two goals.

Without suspended midfielder Marcelo Gallardo orchestrating the attack, United had trouble creating chances in the early going in the rain.

But in the 23rd minute, Quaranta laid off a pass to midfielder Fred on the right flank. Fred sent a low cross for Emilio to easily tap home from just inside the 6-yard box past Red Bulls goalie Jon Conway.

”I said this before. When he does get one, it will come in bunches, and it’s starting to come in bunches,” United coach Tom Soehn said.

Three minutes later, Jaime Moreno played a short free kick to Simms, who fired a 25-yard laser past Conway.

Quaranta then gave up a silly foul and was hit with a yellow card. He will miss the next game because of an accumulation of yellow cards.

As time expired in the first half, Emilio scored his second goal on a rebound after Conway failed to hold on to a shot by Quaranta.

In the 54th minute, Dutch midfielder Dave van den Bergh beat United goalie Zach Wells with a blistering shot from 25 yards for New York’s only score.

Emilio scored his third goal in the 59th minute on a breakaway just inside the 18-yard box.

“It’s good for any player to score a hat trick,” Emilio said. “Now I just need to work hard and next time score four.”

United defender Devon McTavish earned his fourth assist of the season on the goal.

“The last couple of games we showed that we are all getting back on the same page,” McTavish said. “We are still letting a goal in, and Zach was upset about that.”

Both teams were undermanned.

United was also without suspended defender Bryan Namoff. Rod Dyachenko replaced Gallardo, while Marc Burch stepped into the left-back role, and Gonzalo Martinez moved from the center into Namoff’s position at right-side defender.

The Red Bulls were missing injured former Premier League star Juan Pablo Angel, who scored 19 goals last season.

United next plays the expansion San Jose Earthquakes at RFK on June 22.



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