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."
*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.
| October 8, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
Categories: D.C. United | Tags: D.C. United
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