- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jaime Moreno was cramping up and wishing he had been subbed out earlier. Ben Olsen was out of gas and running on sore ankles.

A goal down, it looked like D.C. United would suffer its first home loss. Deep into injury time Friday night, United’s two most tenured players combined to save the day.

On a free kick, Moreno set up an Olsen goal to earn United a 1-1 tie with the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium.

With the assist, Moreno became the first player to earn 100 goals and 100 assists. The Bolivian striker is already the league’s all-time leading goal scorer with 122.

“It’s part of the game,” Moreno said of the accomplishment. “We have got to do a better job finishing. We had so many chances [where] we could have put the game away, but we never stopped fighting. The assist doesn’t mean a lot to me, but I guess numbers count in America.”

This should have been an easy United win. Its strong lineup faced a depleted New England team missing six potential starters. The home team outshot New England 20-4, but a loss of concentration just after halftime allowed the league’s all-time assist leader, Steve Ralston, to set up Shalrie Joseph to head the Revolution into the lead.

“You leave this game very frustrated because I thought in the first half they were ripe for the picking,” United coach Tom Soehn said.

Once New England got its goal, 24-year-old goalie Brad Knighton - in the nets to replace Matt Reis - played the game of his life and made seven saves.

United should have been on the score sheet in the 19th minute, but Christian Gomez couldn’t connect with Rodney Wallace’s pass across the visitors’ empty goalmouth.

Changes were in order at halftime, and Soehn brought midfielders Santino Quaranta and Andrew Jacobson off the bench to replace Clyde Simms and Marc Burch. The result was not what Soehn had been seeking.

The Revolution stole yards on a quick throw to Ralston, who got in a cross. Jacobson, sandwiched between two Revolution players, couldn’t get to Joseph, who had a free header from four yards out to give New England the lead. It was Ralston’s 129th assist.

“I decided to stay on my line because it was an early cross and we had two guys defending it,” said United goalie Louis Crayton, who made one save.

With time running out, United won a free kick. Moreno floated the cross to Olsen standing at the far post, and he headed the ball into the net from a narrow angle.

“It’s the 90th minute, we’re down and everybody’s pushing,” Olsen said. “The ball came to the back post, and I was lucky to sneak in there. It’s a tie. It ends up being disappointing.”

Fred nearly won the game with a late shot that just went wide.

“We can’t get that many chances and not finish off the game,” Quaranta said. “We are giving away points.”



Click to Read More

Click to Hide