Work in Sports
Three for D.C.
Two first-half goals lift United to MLS Cup
Posted: Sunday November 21, 1999 04:33 PM
FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- Rain or shine, D.C. United is the Major League Soccer champion.
Three years after overcoming a torrential rain and a two-goal deficit to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy in the inaugural MLS Cup, the United won the rematch 2-0 on Sunday for their third title in the league's four-year history.
Jaime Moreno scored first, and Washington made it 2-0 when goalkeeper Kevin Hartman badly misplayed a ball in front and passed it to Ben Olsen for a virtual empty-netter. Olsen was picked as the game's Most Valuable Player.
Hartman may have still been a bit foggy from getting kicked in the head by Moreno while making a nice save minutes earlier. The Galaxy played most of the game without captain Robin Fraser, the MLS defender of the year, who broke his collarbone after being pushed from behind by Roy Lassiter in the seventh minute.
An crowd announced at 44,910 enjoyed a 63-degree day - a sharp contrast to the 1996 game played at Foxboro Stadium. Playing on a slick field, Washington rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie it in the final 18 minutes before Eddie Pope won it in overtime.
There was no comeback this time.
None was needed.
D.C. took the lead in the 19th minute when Marco Etcheverry's cross was headed into the center by defender Steve Jolley. Lassiter's shot was stopped by Hartman, but the rebound went off Lassiter to Moreno; he beat the sprawling goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
Washington made it 2-0 in the third minute of injury time after the first half when Hartman chose not to pick up a rolling ball and dribbled into trouble. After escaping one attacker, he kicked it directly to Olsen; Hartman was in no position to recover, and Olsen lofted it easily toward the back, of the net.
The game was otherwise without action, except for a small shouting match between D.C. coach Thomas Rongen and Los Angeles forward Cobi Jones after a foul near the benches.
Washington also won in 1997 and lost in the final last season to the Chicago Fire.