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D.C. United finally gets victory, but loses Moreno 2-4 weeks to hamstring injury.

By Gary Davidson
SoccerTimes

WASHINGTON, D.C (Saturday, May 27, 2000) -- D.C. United finally caught a break tonight, but it was a first-half strain that put a damper on the victory celebration.

Profiting from a deciding own goal in the 75th minute, United, the three-time MLS champion, snapped a club record four-game losing streak, defeating the Dallas Burn 3-2 before 18,120 at RFK Stadium. After the game, however, the team learned striker Jaime Moreno, the teamís most effective player this season who left the match in the 31st minute, had a strained right hamstring that would keep him out two-to-four weeks.

Still, after giving up three own goals in the seasonís first 12 games, all one-goal losses and two the other teamís game-winner, United players were just happy to put one in the win column.

"I said itís about time we actually got a break," said United midfielder Richie Williams, who in the 88th minute of a 2-1 loss to Columbus May 3 headed the decisive tally into his own net. "I think what the difference was is we were putting a lot of pressure on them. The more pressure you put on them, the more chances you have. Good things can happen. Finally we got a break in our favor."

Dallas (4-7-1, 13 points) dropped it third straight, its sixth in a row on the road. A two-goal effort by striker Jason Kreis, his seventh and eighth, was wasted. With his seven assists, Kreis, who accounted for six of the Burnís eight shots on goal, has 23 points, second to the 25 by Ante Razov of the Chicago Fire.

United (3-9-1, 10 points) twice had squandered one-goal leads. But in the 75th minute, reserve forward A.J. Wood received a ball at the top right of the penalty area and looped a long pass to midfielder Ben Olsen at the top left corner of the box. Olsen took the ball down and cut past Burn midfielder Ted Eck. With Wood on the doorstep, Olsen sent a hard pass in the direction of his teammate, but defender Brandon Pollard slid in and drove the ball into the top near corner of his net.

"Those things happen. As you can see, this year weíve had three of them," Williams said. "Itís unfortunate, but itís the game of soccer. (Pollard) was playing well and he was playing good defense, it was just a real hard cross across the box and he was just trying to play defense and there were a lot of things going on and it was just unfortunate that he put it in his own goal."

"The pressure put Brandon Pollard in a very difficult position," D.C. coach Thomas Rongen added. "It certainly didnít go exactly the way we planned it, but in the end we were resourceful enough to get the win. Obviously, the result was the number one goal. It was to get a win and three points."

Chris Albright, who had been taking heat from fans and media, finally netted his first goal of the season to give United a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute. Dallas midfielder Chad Deering knocked over United defender Carey Talley deep on the right flank. On the restart, midfielder Marco Etcheverry sent his free kick into the goal mouth where Albright elevated above the Burnís Bobby Rhine to nail a header eight yards into the top right corner.

"It never really bothered me that I hadnít scored a goal. I knew I was going to come," Albright said. "The only thing that bothered me was that we werenít winning. I think it was more pressure off the team because we got a win. I guess it was lucky they came at the same time."

Only two minutes later, Kreis drilled a low direct kick through the center of the defensive wall into the right corner to knot the game 1-1. Central defender Carlos Llamosaís foul on striker Ariel Graziani set up the free kick.

In the 22nd minute, Albright beat goalkeeper Matt Jordan to a ball at the right perimeter of the box, carried away from the goal and then turned to put a cross over he retreating keeper onto the goal line. Defender Jorge Rodriguez headed the ball away, but right to Llamosa, who found the right corner with a header of his own to make it 2-1.

Rodriguez turned the tables on Llamosa to tie the match in the 47th minute sending a cross into the box that went off the D.C. defenderís chest to Kreis, who buried his point-blank shot into the lower right corner for a 2-2 score.

"We gave up way to many fouls in dangerous area," said Dallas coach Dave Dir. "Own goals -- youíll have to give me a theory on them. Iím no sure how to stop them."

Fifth-nine fouls were called by referee Noel Kenny, 39 against United, which only received two yellow cards.

D.C. United 3, Dallas Burn 2

Lineups: D.C. United - Tom Presthus, Carey Talley (A.J. Wood 71), Eddie Pope, Carlos Llamosa, Jeff Agoos, Ben Olsen, Richie Williams, Chris Albright, Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno (Pete Marino 31, Judah Cooks 79), Raul Diaz Arce. Dallas - Matt Jordan, Brandon Pollard, Ricardo Iribarren (Richard Farrer 41), Eric Dade, Jorge Rodriguez, Ted Eck (Aleksey Korol 81), Chad Deering, Bobby Rhine (Antonio Martinez 76), Oscar Pareja, Jason Kreis, Ariel Graziani

Scoring:
D.C. United - Albright (Etcheverry) 11.
Dallas - Kreis (unassisted) 13.
D.C. United - Llamosa (unassisted) 22.
Dallas - Kreis (Rodriguez) 47.
D.C. United - own goal (Pollard) 75.

Total shots: D.C. United 13 (Olsen 3), Dallas 13 (Kreis 7). Shots on goal: D.C. United 7 (Olsen 2), Dallas 8 (Kreis 6). Saves: D.C. United - Presthus 5; Dallas - Jordan 5. Fouls: D.C. United 37 (Albright 9), Dallas 20 (Dade 4). Offside: D.C. United 3, Dallas 0. Corner kicks: D.C. United 8, Dallas 3. Yellow card cautions: D.C. United - Llamosa 45, Cooks 91+; Dallas - Pollard 36, Graziani 39, Eck 53. Possession percentage: D.C. United 60, Dallas 40.

Referee: Noel Kenny. Referee's assistants: George Gansner, Bill Dittmar. Attendance: 18,120 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Weather: Overcast, 60 degrees.

Gary Davidson is managing editor of SoccerTimes and can be e-mailed at editor@soccertimes.com..

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