D.C. United names 2004 team award winners

WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United announced Monday that Ben Olsen, Ryan Nelsen, Jaime Moreno and Alecko Eskandarian have been honored as the recipients of United's club awards for the 2004 season. The awards were presented at the Inaugural United for D.C. Awards Reception, held Monday at The State Theatre in Falls Church, Va.

Moreno was named United's Honda Most Valuable Player, the Budweiser Scoring Champion and was given the People's Choice Award, presented by BREITLING and Liljenquist & Beckstead Jewelers. In addition, Nelsen was named Defender of the year, Olsen was selected as the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year for the second consecutive season and Eskandarian earned the Coaches Award. The Honda MVP, Defender of the Year and U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year awards are determined through balloting of media members, while the Budweiser scoring champion is given to the team's leading scorer based on points, with two points for a goal and one for an assist.

Honda Most Valuable Player: For the fourth time, Moreno was named United's Most Valuable Player. Following off-season back surgery that had left his future in doubt, the Bolivian forward tallied a goal and an assist in United's season-opening victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, kicking off a year-long performance that will likely garner league-wide honors as the Comeback Player of the Year and possibly as the Most Valuable Player.

Defender of the Year: Nelsen repeated as United's Defender of the Year. In his fourth season with the Black-and-Red, Nelsen was named to his second MLS All-Star Game and captained his New Zealand national team in World Cup qualifying. With him in the line-up this year, D.C. United owns a +7 goal differential and conceded a mere 17 goals, one of which being an own goal. Four of United's seven shutouts came with Nelsen anchoring the back line, all of them victories.

Budweiser Scoring Champion: For the second time in his United career, Moreno finished the season as the D.C. United Budweiser Scoring Leader. The forward finished the campaign with seven goals and 14 assists, giving him a team-high 28 points.

BREITLING and Liljenquist & Beckstead People's Choice: Moreno also scored the first ever BREITLING and Liljenquist & Beckstead People's Choice Award. In an on-line poll placed on www.dcunited.com, Moreno was voted the fan favorite for his contributions to United this season. Moreno was presented a BREITLING watch at tonight's event, as was a lucky fan who participated in the voting.

US Soccer Federation Foundation Humanitarian: Ben Olsen again stood out this year as a leader in the community. His involvement through a host of charitable organizations have made him a role model and mentor to the youth of the Washington metropolitan area. This season, the 2003 MLS Humanitarian of the Year continued to work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, helped organize both the Major League Soccer and U.S. Men's national team Players Associations, joined the board of directors of United for D.C., served as a volunteer soccer coach at American University and donated his spare time to both DC SCORES and Children's Hospital.

Coaches' Award: Alecko Eskandarian was selected as the recipient of United's Coaches' Award for his tireless efforts to better himself and the team. In his sophomore season, Alecko Eskandarian made great strides in his game, providing the bulk of United's goal-scoring punch throughout the 2004 season. He earned two Player of the Week nods to accompany his four Sierra Mist Goal of the Week accolades and became the first D.C. United striker to tally 10 goals since 2001, doing so without the benefit of any penalty kick conversions.

In addition, United honored legendary playmaker Marco Etcheverry for his years of service to the club. Having retired from Major League Soccer prior to te 2004 season, Etcheverry was the last player remaining from United's inaugural 1996 season and finished his 8th MLS campaign as United's top scorer with 19 points on six goals and seven assists in 2003. One of his goals served as a game-winner, while four others helped D.C. to earn draws. He appeared in 25 games for the Black-and-Red last year, including 21 as a starter.

A seven-time MLS All-Star, Etcheverry is one of the most accomplished players in league history. Etcheverry's cultured left foot carried the Black-and-Red to MLS Cup titles in 1996, 1997, and 1999 and garnered the Bolivian international league Most Valuable Player honors in 1998 and MLS Cup MVP honors in 1996. The talented playmaker earned MVP honors for the 2002 Pepsi All-Star Game played at RFK Stadium on Aug. 3. He is MLS's third all-time assist leader with 101 and was named to the league's Best XI squad four consecutive seasons from 1996-1999.

  Honda MVP Defender Budweiser Scoring Champ US Soccer Found. Humanitarian Rookie
1996 Marco Etcheverry Jeff Agoos Raul Diaz Arce - -
1997 Marco Etcheverry Eddie Pope Jaime Moreno - -
1998 Marco Etcheverry Eddie Pope Roy Lassiter - -
1999 Jaime Moreno Jeff Agoos Roy Lassiter - -
2000 Jaime Moreno Jeff Agoos Jaime Moreno Eddie Pope -
2001 Jaime Moreno Eddie Pope Abdul T. Conteh Abdul T. Conteh Santino Quaranta
2002 Nick Rimando Nick Rimando Marco Etcheverry Eddie Pope -
2003 Dema Kovalenko Ryan Nelsen Marco Etcheverry Eddie Pope -
2004 Jaime Moreno Ryan Nelsen Jaime Moreno Ben Olsen -

To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).