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Lassiter nets two more as D.C. United rolls to 3-1 victory over Miami.

Roy Lassiter FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Saturday, May 22, 1999) -- D.C. United striker Roy Lassiter continued his All-Star form this afternoon as Major League Soccerís all-time leading scorer struck twice after intermission in a 3-1 victory over the Miami Fusion before 7,113 at Lockhart Stadium.

Lassiter, who learned earlier in the week was invited to join the United States national team for the June 13 match against Argentina at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., has scored 10 goals in nine games this season.

"We did little things better switching the point of attack, getting more aggressive at the edge of the 18-yard box," D.C. coach Thomas Rongen said. "We didnít create many scoring opportunities, though I thought we were the better team. I thought it was just a matter of time until the goals came . . . We wanted to be the aggressor. Miami came with a little low pressure, dropping a lot of numbers behind the ball. We had a tough time breaking them down."

Lassiter matched teammate Jaime Moreno's record as the quickest player to reach double digits in goals to begin a season. Moreno netted 10 goals in his first nine games in 1997.

"Roy has just an instinct for goals," said Rongen, who first directed Lassiter at Tampa Bay. "Thank God Roy is with me again -- and he might say the same thing for me."

Lassiter opened the scoring against the Fusion in the 62nd minute, knocking in the rebound after Miami goalkeeper Jeff Cassar saved his one-touch shot on a cross by Richie Williams. Lassiter added his second goal eight minutes later, stealing a back-pass from Pablo Mastroeni and converting a one-on-one opportunity in the box against Cassar.

The Fusion (3-7, 5 points) moved back into striking distance in the 80th minute with a goal by Diego Serna. United's A.J. Wood attempted to clear a Fusion corner kick, but John Maessner sent the ball back into the box with a bicycle kick. Serna then flicked a header past goalkeeper Tom Presthus for his fifth goal in five career games against D.C. (6-3, 4 points).

"It was a fluke goal," said Presthus, who made one save. "I really donít know what happened because I ran into (teammate) Carey Talley and I blacked out for that period of time. But I just think the overall tenacity we had, the no-nonsense attitude we had in the back -- we cleared everything in the back. We didnít play stupid passes to each other. We just played a smart defensive game."

D.C. United midfielder Marco Etcheverry accounted for the final score with a spectacular tally in the 90th minute. Etcheverry received a pass from defender Diego Sonora at the midfield stripe and unleashed a 55-yard bomb that caught Cassar off the goal line.

"I learned it at the Marco Etcheverry Soccer Academy," joked the 1998 league most valuable player.

D.C. United 3, Miami Fusion 1

Lineups: Miami - Jeff Cassar, Pablo Mastroeni, Jim Rooney, Leo Cullen, Jay Heaps, Carlos Parra (Tyrone Marshall 68), Nelson Vargas (John Maessner 79), Maurizio Rocha, Mario Gori, Mickey Trotman, Diego Serna; D.C. United - Tom Presthus, Diego Sonora, Carlos Llamosa, Jeff Agoos, Ben Olsen (Judah Cooks 87), Geoff Aunger, Richie Williams, Jason Moore (Carey Talley 75), Marco Etcheverry, Roy Lassiter, Jaime Moreno (A.J. Wood 71).

D.C. United - Lassiter (Williams, Moore) 62;
D.C. United - Lassiter (unassisted) 71;
Miami - Serna (Maessner) 80;
D.C. United - Etcheverry (Sonora) 90.

Total shots: Miami 12 (Serna 4), D.C. United (Lassiter 3). Shots on goal: Miami 2 (Serna 1, Rocha 1), D.C. United 3 (Lassiter 2). Saves: Miami - Cassar 0; D.C. United - Presthus 1. Fouls: Miami 19 (Heaps 4), D.C. United 15 (Olsen 5). Offside: Miami 7, D.C. United 4. Corner kicks: Miami 6, D.C. United 4. Yellow card cautions: Miami - Mastroeni 13, Heaps 49, Rooney 71. Possession percentage: D.C. United 55%, Miami 45%.

Referee: Kevin Terry. Referee's assistants: Tom Bobadilla, Greg Watson. Attendance: 7,113 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Weather: Hot, partly cloudy, 85 degrees.

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