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D.C. United news & notes: Moreno starting?

Two weeks from Saturday, MLS legend Jaime Moreno will make his final appearance for D.C. United. His lack of playing time the last three months, however, might have made it seem to some supporters as though he had already left. But with United heading into the final three matches of a difficult season, the Bolivian forward is likely to feature again.

After training Friday, interim coach Ben Olsen declined to discuss his lineup for Saturday night's match against the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium, but the buzz around the old building is that Moreno will make his seventh start of the year and partner with Pablo Hernandez.

Moreno, 36, has not appeared in the past four matches -- last week, he didn't travel to Colorado for personal reasons -- and played just 184 minutes since mid-July. The inactivity has allowed Jeff Cunningham of Dallas to tie him for the league's career scoring lead (132).

Discussing Moreno's general status, Olsen said: "I know this hasn't been easy for Jaime. It's a tough situation. He is still in our plans. I want to see him go out with some playing time and show these fans some of the magic they have seen over the years."

Olsen is in a tight spot, a recently retired player and interim boss weighing the needs of an organization enduring its worst season and managing the final days of the club's most accomplished player. Last week, Moreno said he didn't expect to play much the rest of the season.

"One of the tougher things about this job is dealing with players who I have had relationships with," Olsen said. "I've got to do what I think is best for the club, and that's not saying it has been right or wrong. There are probably a lot of people who have disagreed with some of the things that I have done. But my job was to try to win games. I have always liked Jaime in certain situations in games.

"Jaime and I have had some good chats as of late and have a good understanding of what is going on. I want to see him go out in the right way, and I expect him to play, and play at a very high level, the next couple of games."

For more.....

*Miami FC defender J.P. Rodrigues, added to the roster for Saturday's match because of United's personnel shortage, has practiced with the club and will be in uniform against the Earthquakes. "He has come off a good season, so we feel comfortable putting him in if the game needs it," said Olsen, who seems likely to pair Jed Zayner and Clyde Simms in central defense.

*Forward Adam Cristman, returning from knee surgery, participated in full training today and might be included on the game-day roster. If he is not available, United will have just three reserve field players plus backup goalkeeper Chase Harrison.

*The trial for Jackson Bengon, a young striker from Cameroon, has concluded. I wouldn't expect him back. He was among several players to pass through training in recent weeks for a club seeking prospects ahead of the 2011 season.

By Steve Goff  | October 8, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Next: For former MLS player Devin Barclay, it's a whole new ballgame kicking for Ohio State football team

Comments

I say let Jaime play the rest of the season and pad his account with some PK's (easier said than done, I know). I live in Dallas now and was at the FCD game last week when Jeff Cunningham tied the goal-scoring mark. It makes me sick to see a scrub like that possibly break Jaime's record. It's inevitable at this point, but I'd like to see it happen next year.

Posted by: sdb11281usa | October 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

haha, "I wouldn't expect him back". He's apparently no Francis Doe

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | October 8, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Let Moreno play so we have something to cheer for in this dismal season. He's forever linked to so many of our glory years, and deserves our cheers! The front office ought to buy us all beers to toast to his career!
It would be sweet for him to go out on top with a goal, too.

Posted by: dayface | October 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

3 subs--that should make decisions about who to sub in relatively easy.

As for those who say "start Moreno so he can pad his total"--I doubt that's happening. This team--when at full strength--struggles to score one goal a game. We don't earn PKs. I'm not against playing Jaime. But the rationale that he's going to add to his scoring total is a weak one. You play him to honor him and b/c you think it helps the team.

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 8, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I hope Jaime plays in Chicago!

He can put on a Bolivian knee juggling exhibition with balls provided by CJ Brown, Ljungberg or both.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I count either 16 or 17 available players (depending on Cristman):

Perkins
Harrison
Zayner
Graye
Rodrigues
McTavish
Varela
Morsink
Simms
King
Boskovic
Junior
Quaranta
Allsopp
Hernandez
Moreno
Cristman

Is someone else out? I mean, at this point it would not be a surprise.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Start and play Jaime the rest of the way, and tell him not to worry about defense. Let him do what he does best. Game results are no longer important.

Posted by: Ron16 | October 8, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Chest, I think you included Boskovic who is on international duty.

Posted by: BlackAndRed337 | October 8, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Boskovic is on national team duty

Posted by: fedssocr | October 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Boskovic is away on duty

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | October 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yep -- you included Bosco and Harrison (Goff wasn't counting him as one of three subs).

Little item -- nothing groundbreaking, but WAMU's Metro Connection show was themed on second chances today. They featured an interview with Quaranta.

Posted by: fischy | October 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree with the idea of just letting Jaime play as much as possible at this point.

It's not like we're fighting for playoff positioning or anything. It's not like we're trying to see what we have for next year, since hopefully a more competent front office will replace 1/2 the roster.

I say start Jaime at forward and let him try to cherry-pick as much as possible and rack up the goals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 8, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Cheering a Jaime goal tomorrow or on the 23rd would be about the only way to end the season on a high note.

Posted by: tcbannon | October 8, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"The inactivity has allowed Jeff Cunningham of Dallas to tie him for the league's career scoring lead (132)."

Ugh, not so much. How many PKs has DC earned while Moreno has been sitting?

"It makes me sick to see a scrub like that possibly break Jaime's record."
Cunningham a "scrub"? Seriously? He is a pure goal scorer, hardly a scrub. JC has a couple of years left in him and will set the record high enough that it will be a long time before anyone comes close to it.

Moreno should have called it quits after last season.

Posted by: misu38 | October 8, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

No doubt, Jaime was inspired by the recent performance of Bolivian head of state Evo Morales.

At least, I hope so!

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 8, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I thought Zoltan Gera was hurt? He just scored Hungary's 8th goal.

Posted by: Reignking | October 8, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Vedad Ibisevic with a goal. Maybe Rossi can score today to make it 3...

Posted by: Reignking | October 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I saw this link on Goff's Twitter page, but I'm not sure it's been posted here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100803105.html

Leave it to Goff to make sure the online version of the story contains a link to a joint that "makes irresistible sandwiches."

Posted by: universityandpark | October 8, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, UandP. A great story by Goff.

Now we know the reason for his Ohio trip wasn't to meet with anyone at Akron...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | October 8, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Steve went to Columbus for the sandwiches and stumbled on the story.

Congratulations to Devin Barclay for re-inventing his sports career.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 8, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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