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Posted at 4:54 PM ET, 11/23/2010

Memo to MLS: Jaime Moreno has not retired

By Steve Goff

On Monday evening, MLS put out a long list of the players available for selection by the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers in Wednesday's expansion draft.

Protected players were left off the roll. So were young homegrown players, who are exempt from the draft, and veterans who had announced their retirement, such as Brian McBride, Clint Mathis and Eddie Lewis.

Also absent was Jaime Moreno, MLS's all-time leading scorer. Except Moreno was not protected, is certainly not a homegrown prospect ... and never retired. Since August, his situation was clear to everyone. Well, almost everyone: Moreno and D.C. United would part ways at the end of the season, and the Bolivian forward would explore opportunities back home, weigh retirement and leave open the possibility of joining a different MLS team.

So Moreno was confused, and a little irritated, when he checked the list Monday night and didn't see his name.

"I didn't understand it," he said in a telephone interview from Atlanta, where he is serving as a guest assistant coach for the U.S. under-20 national team this week. "The fact that my name is not there, everyone is thinking I am retired. My name should be out there."

For more.....

Because of his age (36), salary expectations and infrequent play this season, Moreno probably wasn't going to be selected by the Timbers or Whitecaps anyway. But most of the 150-plus players on MLS's master list weren't either. The point is: Moreno never retired, and although he won't play for United ever again, he should have been listed with DCU's other unprotected players -- just as Mexican-bound defender Jonathan Bornstein was included in Chivas USA's group.

Who messed up? The league. Each club was required to submit only its 11 protected players by Monday afternoon. MLS was responsible for compiling the list of available players. This afternoon, after being made aware of the error by the Insider, the league apologized to Moreno, and said it would add him to the list of available players and also notify Vancouver and Portland of his availability.

Moreno told the Insider today that playing in Bolivia is his last option and that, if an MLS club approached him and selected him in the re-entry draft next month, he would listen to an offer. (Anyone in need of a veteran forward with a proven scoring record and leadership experience?) He said he has not spoken to any club, but once he completes his U-20 duties, he will sort out his options.

"If I have a chance to play and the situation is right for me and my family," he said, "then I would look at it seriously."

By Steve Goff  | November 23, 2010; 4:54 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  MLS  
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I'm not dead yet

Posted by: fedssocr | November 23, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

No surprise MLS messed up some paperwork. This is the same group who this past summer failed to correctly tabulate the yellow card total for a Galaxy player (I think it was Omar Gonzalez) and allowed him to play when he should have been suspended.

Nicole Raymond in the league operations departent whose job it was to keep those records was dismissed as a result of this last infraction in a series of similar record-keeping mistakes throughout her employment.

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I realize that, ultimately, the player makes the decision to "retire." Unfortunately, sometimes the player is the last one to know he is "retired." I feel sad that Moreno is starting to travel down the Bret Favre, Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton path -- going past your sell by date and having someone tear the uniform off of you because you can't realize your done.

Jaime Moreno, you will always be the "Babe Ruth" of DCU and an all-time MLS All Star. However, your time is over, retire gracefully and don't wind up like Willie Mays, tripping over second base in your last game in the big leagues.

Posted by: griffin1108 | November 23, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like NASL beckons for Jaime Moreno

Posted by: beerfriday | November 23, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I figure every MLS team knows what we've all known forever: Jaime only plays for DC. We had him at the Metros and he suddenly forgot what his job was. At Middlesborough he ran around aimlessly like he was lost on a class trip. Then returning to DC he scored more often than a sailor in a whor...ah, never mind.

I despise the dude, but hey--at least he's not a mercenary.

Posted by: Unternehmen | November 23, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Really, Jaime . . . "you'll be stone dead in a moment" . .

Put your playing career to bed. The league is too fast and too physical for you. You don't play defense.

Posted by: delantero | November 23, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Why the hostility?? (OK, I can understand Untermensch's feelings; if I were a NY fan I might even resent Moreno too.)

Moreno has a right to compete for a position. One of the "benefits" of having played for MLS is that he gets included in the list of eligible players for the re-entry draft. That's part of his compensation package and he was right to object to being excluded.

116 days until . . . .

Posted by: Curious99 | November 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

He still loves the game and loves to play so if a team is willing to give him the opportunity he should take it. I could see him being a great player to have during training and on the squad to help develop the younger players. On the field? Still may be a good guy to have on the bench for a few season to play 10-15 minutes...not sure how much he will get paid for that but again this sounds like love of the sport not a desperate need for cash or media attention.

Even if he wants to play in the NASL or some local 5 v 5 league on the hill I say go for it.

Posted by: Southeasterner | November 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

As a DC native and Timbers Army member I'll tell you, neither Portland or Vancouver will give Jaime a sniff. He had his run, he's done at this level.
He was spectacular as a speedy youth and fell into the Marco Etcheverry creator role as he lost that speed, but he maintained the scoring touch for United and was a great leader to younger player on how to be a pro. I respect the guy to death, but the best he might get is a player/assistant coach in training position where in case of injury depletion or suspected shootout, he would be brought on late for his scoring touch and nerve.
Jaime you did DC and MLS proud, I'm proud to have seen your MLS career from beginning to end. You will be missed. Hopefully you become a coach and pass on your skills to younger eager players, that would be the perfect swansong for Moreno, to mentor young players. Whether here in the US or in his homeland I hope he takes the coaching route.

Posted by: damjammer | November 24, 2010 2:56 AM | Report abuse

DC United, as many others, missed the point with Jaime this season. He's getting older, he's slower, he's not as impactful- agreed. But until you have a better option, keep playing your best player. How would Moreno have done this season given comparable minutes to Allsopp and P. Hernandez? If he played the same position as Najar, it makes sense to part ways. DC has no striker on the roster as effective as Moreno, neither does Portland or Vancouver.

Posted by: DC0071 | November 24, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Forget about Vancouver as a spot for Jaime. Soehn wants nothing to do with him, and vica-versa. Jaime despised Soehn's autocratic narrow-mindedness and Soehn has little tolerance and respect for what he perceives is the poor work ethic of non-American players.

Jaime hung on in DC because of the close relationship between his family and KP's. Finally it had to come to an end, an end which KP wanted to orchestrate, whether Jaime was on board or not, so DCU (and he) would look like a caring institution and could put on a big show when basically the team's season had turned into nothing worth watching.

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 24, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why people feel like Jamie has to "retire with dignity". Maybe hebenjoys playing the game. I was also perplexed that he didn't get more minutes this year given our lack of options up front. It seemed at times like the club didn't want him to show them up.

Posted by: Pigmansweet1 | November 24, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Even Johnny Unitas had to play a season with the Chargers before realizing it was over.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 24, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

What's everyone worried about, their memories of Jaime in his prime? This is not Willie Mays' time. The last memory you will have of Jaime will be whatever you saw on YouTube and you will smile and think "I was there."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 24, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Jaime didn't get minutes because he didn't deserve them.

Plus, you don't play a guy who you know is going to only get slower and is not part of the teams long term plans.

Posted by: delantero | November 24, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"(Anyone in need of a veteran forward with a proven scoring record and leadership experience?)" Hristo Stoichkov is coming back? Ahhhh, if only he could still play. Oh, you mean Jaime Moreno. Ahhhh, if only he could still play.

Tune in Jaime

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 24, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Jaime didn't get minutes because he didn't deserve them."

Yeaaaahh, obviously you weren't at RFK much this season. (Often times I wished I weren't either...)

Who other than Najar was better than Jaime? Alsopp?? What a complete bust... I agree with his national coach who said, "He's hopeless..." before he cut him. Hernandez? Remind me again, how many did he score? Tino?? Mr. 40 meters over the goal toe-blow? Boskovic? Actually... although he showed little this year, look who he was trying to provide service to...I think next year he might turn out to be useful if he stays healthy and we find a decent forward. He could use someone with vision, touch, and experience to work with. Oh wait, that would be Jaime.

Sure, he's not a 90 min. player anymore, and he's long since lost his speed, obviously. But he was easily the best player at forward we had this year, despite his decline. The team had just tied up so much money in donkeys that they wouldn't admit it to themselves. The people responsible for the donkey signings should be looking for a new team, not Jaime.

Posted by: harryfuchs | November 24, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Jaime was a great player for DC and I agree that he was not utilized properly in the last few seasons. But I don't get everyone trying to bash him for trying, he has given everything he could to this leauge and deserves to get everything in return (even if it is a draft allocation). That being said I hope Jaime finds a place to play with fans that give him the respect he deserves. Lets just hope that our "brilliant" front office didn't ruin him coming back when he chooses to retire to continue in a leadership role (coach or front office). Live the Dream Jaime!!

Posted by: coastalsoul | November 24, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Jaime was a great player for DC and I agree that he was not utilized properly in the last few seasons. But I don't get everyone trying to bash him for trying, he has given everything he could to this leauge and deserves to get everything in return (even if it is a draft allocation). That being said I hope Jaime finds a place to play with fans that give him the respect he deserves. Lets just hope that our "brilliant" front office didn't ruin him coming back when he chooses to retire to continue in a leadership role (coach or front office). Live the Dream Jaime!!

Posted by: coastalsoul | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

As mediocre as Allsopp was, yes, I think he was a better bet than Moreno up front this season. Good luck Jaime.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 24, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

All I saw of Jaime this year was hold the ball, lose the ball, hold the ball, lose the ball, hold the ball, take a dive, hold the ball, get fouled.

PK! Goal.

Repeat. He's got nothing left in the tank.

Posted by: delantero | November 24, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

All I saw from Allsopp was that he couldn't hold the ball (bit o' a problem for a target forward, 'eh?), couldn't shoot from distance... or well... anywhere, was every bit as slow as Jaime, was surprisingly lousy in the air, had an absolutely donkey touch... in short he was just well... useless. That said, I don't fault his effort, he seemed tuned in, just not capable here.

Jaime held the ball up at least, and got in the right spots... problem being that he had no one making any runs of consequence. And when he did have a look at goal or a penalty, he put it in the net. Contrast that with the enduring image of Danny Allsopp which will be of him tripping over his own feet and fluffing six yarders over the top.

Posted by: harryfuchs | November 24, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

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