D.C. attack back on track after win
and now has five in his last three games to bring his team-leading total to six on the year.
Before their current run United hadn't scored more than two goals in any game and were actively searching for a new striker. But even with Uruguayan striker (by way of Costa Rica) Claudio Ciccia presently on trial with the team, D.C. has shown a new incisiveness in attack with 10 goals in this three-game unbeaten run, which started with a three-goal outburst against Columbus two weeks ago.
Coach Peter Nowak and his staff will feel much better after Saturday's display, which featured confident ball possession in addition to waves of dangerous counterattacking.
"Alecko scored two goals and Jaime was great," said Nowak. "Even if we bring somebody in, its going to be very difficult for them to get into the first team. In the last four or five weeks, we talked about how the little things have to be better, and the work paid off. They closed down all the zones and played good soccer."
To the MetroStars' credit, the final score was a bit misleading, as they outshot D.C. 17 to 10 and were playing their fifth game in just more than two weeks. Young midfielder Eddie Gaven got the Metros off to a dream start when he outsmarted the United offsides trap in the 18th minute and chipped over goalkeeper Troy Perkins for his fourth goal in as many games.
But after Ryan Nelsen equalized for D.C., disaster struck for the MetroStars in the 37th minute. Goalkeeper Jonny Walker received a back pass and attempted some fancy footwork as Moreno pressured. The United striker poked the ball away and stroked it into an empty net, swinging the momentum to the home team and sending the crowd of 16,177 into delirium. The MetroStars 'keeper was contrite after the match.
"My mistake today cost the team the game, there's no doubt about that," Walker said. "The end result might be a little misleading, but you never want to make a mistake that costs your team the game. But that's part of goalkeeping."
D.C. went on to build a 4-1 lead and never looked back, with Eskandarian the hero of the day.
"I don't think we were really ever struggling offensively," Eskandarian said. "Since day one, we've been very dangerous and created a lot of chances. Today was just a matter of putting them away, and we did."
Eskandarian, whose father Andranik played for the NASL's New York Cosmos and grew up 20 minutes from Giants Stadium, also praised his strike partner Moreno.
"Jaime is awesome to play with," he said. "He makes it a lot easier on me, so I can just focus on making runs in the box ... that second goal was all Jaime."
Charles Boehm is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.