The D.C. United side that won the 2004 MLS Cup, 3-2, over Kansas Ciy, was loaded with talented players. But in retrospect, we probably never fully appreciated the quality of the team.
From US World Cup veteran Earnie Stewart to future Premier League stalwart Ryan Nelsen, record-setting goalscorer Jaime Moreno to club stalwart and current head coach Ben Olsen, there was talent all over the park.
This Sunday, ahead of a massive Eastern Conference clash with rivals New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium (2:30 pm ET, NBCSN), United and their fans will show their appreciation for that championship team -- their last one.
“The 2004 championship team was a special group of people from a variety of backgrounds who represented the growth and reach of Major League Soccer and most importantly, came together in their unified determination to win a trophy,” D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper said earlier this month.
In addition to the aforementioned club legends, the '04 United team, led by then head coach Peter Nowak, boasted several players who are still playing around the world, including Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins, Philadelphia Union midfielder Brian Carroll, Nueva Chicago (Arg.) midfielder Christian Gomez, and, of course, a much-hyped rookie named Freddy Adu, now plying his trade in Serbia.
Also on the team was Olsen's New York counterpart, Mike Petke, which adds a nice twist to the proceedings.
According to the club, the follow '04 Cup winners are scheduled to be in attendance at Sunday's event:
- Brandon Prideaux
- Brian Carroll, midfielder, Philadelphia Union
- Alecko Eskandarian, assistant coach, New York Cosmos (NASL)
- Josh Gros, team coordinator, Philadelphia Union
- Jaime Moreno, coach, D.C. United Academy
- Ben Olsen, head coach, D.C. United
- Dema Kovalenko, youth coach
- Mike Petke, head coach, New York Red Bulls
- Santino Quaranta, head coach, Baltimore Bohemians (PDL), TV broadcast analyst
- Eliseo Quintanilla, player (unattached)
Note: Current DC midfielder Davy Arnaud suited up for Kansas City in the '04 MLS Cup final.