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MetroStars Colombian pair key to 3-2 victory over winless United.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Saturday, April 1, 2000) -- The MetroStars' Colombian strike pair figured in all three goals as the New Jersey side outlasted D.C. United 3-2 before 27,332 tonight at Giants Stadium.

Adolfo (El Tren) Valencia and Alex Comas each had a goal and an assist for the MetroStars, who built a three-goal advantage and held on to snap a six-game losing streak to the defending Major League Soccer champion. The last time the MetroStars beat United was in May 1998.

The healthy crowd was on hand for the MetroStars’ home opener and the home debut of German star Lothar Matthaeus. Matthaeus, who played sweeper in last weekend’s 3-1 loss in Miami, worked in the defensive midfield of a revamped Metros lineup.

"I will play where ever the coach tells me and I can help the team," Matthaeus said. "I have played in the middle many times and I am comfortable there. I think I played better tonight than in Florida last week. As we get more used to each other I will play much better with my new teammates.

Comas got the MetroStars on the board early with a penalty kick in the sixth minute after sending Valencia into the box on a perfect through ball from the right wing. United defender Carey Talley bumped into Valencia, who went to the ground and rolled over several times, getting the PK call from referee Ricardo Valenzuela. Comas promptly buried his penalty into the left corner to make it 1-0 with his second MLS tally as D.C. goalkeeper Tom Presthus dove in the opposite direction.

United's Jeff Agoos earned a yellow card for dissent while arguing the foul.

"I shouldered him a bit. I don't think it was a foul." Talley said. "He dove and the ref called it. It was clearly a dive."

Midfielder Brian Kelly finished off an impressive sequence with a rebound goal to put the MetroStars ahead 2-0 in the 23rd minute. Ramiro Corrales stopped a United attack near midfield and sent Mark Chung through the center of the field. A nice one-two combination between Kelly and Chung brought the ball to the top of the box for Comas, who freed Valencia into the box.

Presthus made a diving stop on El Tren, but the rebound lay in the goalmouth for a charging Kelly to slot home into the right corner.

Valencia headed home a Mark Chung free kick from six yards out to put the MetroStars firmly in command at 3-0 in the 56th minute.

United, which controlled large portions of the game, but repeatedly wasted good chances, finally got on the board for the first time this season in the 62nd minute after Matthaeus took Richie Williams down at the left perimeter of the Metros’box. Jaime Moreno stepped up and buried the penalty kick in the right corner to make it 3-1.

Agoos then made it 3-2 in the 84th, bending a 22-yard free kick around the Metros’ wall into the far left corner beyond the reach of a fooled keeper Mike Ammann. .

"It was all about soft goals tonight, our team defense wasn't good," Agoos said. "We had the better of the play, but nobody remembers the game for how you played, just how many you scored."

United played without midfield general Marco Etcheverry, who was forced to sit out the contest after picking up a red card during a short relief appearance in a 4-0 loss to Los Angeles last Saturday in Washington. Moreno assumed Etcheverry's playmaking duties with Chris Albright and A.J. Wood up top.

"We just missed so many chances we should have converted," D.C. midfielder ben Olsen said. "Jamie played very well tonight, but we just don't have the balance we have with Marco. I know we'll play better next week."

Albright was easily United's top offensive threat, generating several quality chances while hitting the post once and almost knotting the score in stoppage time.

"The most important thing is that we did this at home, with a big crowd," MetroStars coach Octavio Zambrano said. "You have to win at home, and we did that tonight."

MetroStars 3, D.C. United 2

Lineups: MetroStars Mike Ammann, Mike Petke, Mohammad Khakpour, Steve Shak, Ramiro Corrales, Lothar Matthaus, Petter Villegas, Mark Chung (Billy Walsh 82), Brian Kelly (Orlando Perez 63), Alex Comas, Adolfo Valencia. D.C. United - Tom Presthus, Carlos Llamosa, Eddie Pope (Antonio Otero 52), Carey Talley (Michael Burke 82), Jeff Agoos, Richie Williams, John Maessner, Ben Olsen, Jaime Moreno, A.J. Wood, Chris Albright.

MetroStars - Comas (penalty kick) 6.
MetroStars - Kelly (Valencia, Comas) 23.
MetroStars - Valencia (Chung) 56.
D.C. United - Moreno (penalty kick) 63.
D.C. United - Agoos (unassisted) 84.

Total shots: MetroStars 13 (Valencia 5), D.C. United 24 (Agoos 5). Shots on goal: MetroStars 8 (Valencia 4), D.C. United 15 (Moreno 3, Agoos 3). Saves: MetroStars - Ammann 10; D.C United - Presthus 4. Fouls: MetroStars 23 (Valencia 5), D.C. United 16 (Talley 4). Offside: MetroStars 3, D.C. United 6. Corner kicks: MetroStars 2, D.C. United 10. Yellow card cautions: MetroStars - Khakpour 26, Kelly 33; D.C. United - Agoos 5, Maessner 37. Possession percentage: MetroStars 40, D.C. United 60.

Referee: Ricardo Valenzuela. Referee's assistants: Nathan Clement, Todd Perry. Attendance: 27,322 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Weather: Clear, 52 degrees.

Miami Fusion 0, San Jose Earthquakes 0 (OT)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Goalkeeper Joe Cannon almost single-handedly earned a point for his San Jose Earthquakes, who were badly outplayed, but managed a 0-0 draw with the Miami Fusion before a meager 6,237 at Lockhart Stadium.

Cannon made several clutch saves in the final 10 minutes of regulation to keep the game even. The Earthquakes' netminder stopped the explosive Andy Williams from 10 yards out after the Fusion midfielder made a series of moves to shake free in the box. Cannon also stopped veteran forward Eric Wynalda, the United States national team's all-time leading scorer, on a free-kick from just outside the box in the 89th minute.

"I have to give credit to my four backs, they made my job easier," Cannon said. "I'm thankful the breaks went our way today. Last week we were unlucky (in an overtime loss at Columbus) so it was good to get a point out of this. After two games on the road, I can't wait to go home next week and play in front of our own great fans in San Jose."

San Jose central defenders Mauricio Wright and John Doyle were able to contain Miami's three-prong attack. Wynalda, Diego Serna, and Roy Lassiter all scored for the Fusion in a 3-1 rout of the MetroStars last week, but the three strikers were effectively contained by the Earthquakes defense.

Wynalda had the best scoring chance of the scoreless first half. The veteran turned and whipped a quick shot from 12 yards out towards the upper right-hand corner, only to have a fully-extended Cannon tip it over the bar. The Fusion had the better scoring chances in the first half as keeper Jeff Cassar was rarely called upon to make a save.

San Jose was without the services of top striker Ronald Cerritos, who was competing for El Salvador in World Cup qualifying. Iranian striker Khodadad Azizi, playing in his second game for the Earthquakes, shifted from attacking midfield to a forward role alongside Abdul Thompson Conteh.

Miami Fusion 0, San Jose Earthquakes 0 (OT)

Lineups: Miami Jeff Cassar, Leo Cullen, Tyrone Marshall, Jay Heaps, Francis Okaroh (Brian Kamler 88), Jim Rooney (Henry Gutierrez 62), Pablo Mastroeni--, Andy Williams, Eric Wynalda, Roy Lassiter, Diego Serna (Welton 79). San Jose - Joe Cannon, Mauricio Wright, Jim Conrad, Ryan Tinsley, John Doyle, Justin Evans, Ian Russell, Richard Mulrooney, Travis Mulraine (Esmundo Rodriguez 53), Khodadad Azizi, Abdul Thompson Conteh

Scoring: none. Total shots: Miami 19 (four players with 3), San Jose 7 (Conteh 3). Shots on goal: Miami 9 (Lassiter 2, Gutierrez 2, Williams 2), San Jose 2 (Conteh 2). Saves: Miami - Cassar 2; San Jose - Cannon 9. Fouls: Miami 26 (Mastroeni 4, Heaps 4), San Jose 21 (Mulraine 4). Offside: Miami 2, San Jose 1. Corner kicks: Miami 12, San Jose 2. Yellow card cautions: Miami - Okaroh 14, Cullen 34, Rooney 43; San Jose - Mulraine 20. Possession percentage: Miami 51, San Jose 49.

Referee: Noel Kenny. Referee's assistants: Chip Reed, Gerry Corrie. Attendance: 6,237 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees.

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