- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 3, 2009

D.C. United’s decade-and-a-half-long history is littered with dominant performances from Jaime Moreno.

The longtime star simply shrugged off an injury and put together another Saturday night at RFK Stadium.

Moreno scored his first two goals of the season as United rallied for a 2-1 defeat of FC Dallas before a crowd of 14,225.

“I’ve seen this for 12 years,” midfielder Ben Olsen said. “This isn’t my first rodeo with Jaime Moreno. You never count him out.”

It was Moreno’s first multigoal game since April 26, 2008, against Real Salt Lake, and came on a night he was honored for becoming the first player in MLS history with 100 goals and 100 assists. Moreno, the league’s career scoring leader with 124 goals, notched his 100th assist April 17 against New England.

“It’s pretty emotional,” said Moreno, who left to a standing ovation in the 74th minute. “It’s special. Things like this don’t happen very often.”

It was a timely return for Moreno, who did not play April 26 at New York and was questionable with an Achilles strain. Yet after nearly scoring a couple of times in the first half, Moreno erased an early deficit for United (3-1-3).

He zipped through the FC Dallas back line on defender Bryan Namoff’s long free kick, collecting possession and firing a shot past keeper Ray Burse (seven saves) to tie it in the 56th minute.

He converted a similarly open chance in the 66th minute, chipping in after a couple steps from 12 yards. Moreno took the pass from Christian Gomez, who had entered just after Moreno’s first goal and had sat out the win against New York with a hamstring strain.

“The composure to come down the middle and get him to lay down and just chip over him - not too many guys in our league can do that, and he’s done that for years,” said United coach Tom Soehn, whose team improved to 2-0-2 at home.

Moreno’s flair secured a victory for rookie keeper Milos Kocic in his regular-season debut. The Loyola (Md.) product, who helped defeat FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup play-in game 10 days earlier at RFK, stopped two shots.

FC Dallas (1-5-1), mired in a tie for last in the Western Conference, didn’t earn its first corner kick until nearly 25 minutes in, and even that evolved into a counterattacking opportunity. United, however, couldn’t convert when Moreno’s shot glanced off the right post. Moments later, Dallas exploited an even better chance.

Midfielder Dave van den Bergh lofted a corner kick within feet of the goalmouth, and Andre Rocha stepped in to squeeze it between Kocic and the right post in the 28th minute for the only goal of the half.

United clearly had the better of play early despite that goal, and there were a few feisty moments. FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper, one shy of the league lead in goals, got tangled with Olsen and received a caution after he shoved the midfielder to the sod less than a minute before halftime.

It was only the start of the irritation for Dallas, which quickly lost the lead when United converted in the second half.

“The only frustrating part for me was we tried to throw everybody forward before half to get the goal back,” Soehn said. “I told them at halftime, ‘We need to relax. We’re going to get plenty more chances.’ All it takes is one to get it going. To their credit, they did a pretty good job in the second half of recognizing that and fixing it.”

Note - United will meet New York at 7 p.m. May 20 at RFK Stadium in its next U.S. Open Cup game.

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