Mario Gori

Looking back: The role players

particularly those with reputations for diving -- with a fierce body check, much to the delight of the fans. In 74 games, Aunger picked up 24 yellow cards for his actions.

One-game wonders
For every Ben Olsen or Bryan Namoff, who have both sustained long careers with D.C. United, there are players whose time with United lasted just one game. Here are a few of the notable ones.

Clint Baumstark: With Nick Rimando injured and backup Doug Warren away at a family wedding, coach Ray Hudson called up Clint Baumstark from the MLS goalkeeper pool and put him in for the October 4, 2003 game in Columbus. Baumstark played well in his only appearance for United, giving up a goal to Ross Paule in the 19th minute of a 1-1 draw.

Paul Marcoullier: Missing nearly its entire starting lineup due to injuries and national team duty, United called up three players from the minor leagues to fill out its roster for the August 30, 2000 game against the New England Revolution. With two minutes left and United losing 1-0, Marcoullier, the goalkeeper for the D3 Northern Virginia Royals, entered the game and starting goalkeeper Mark Simpson was moved up to striker. The move proved fruitless as United lost, but it was one of the more innovative substitutions in league history.

Jorge Rodriguez and Wade Barrett: Post-season friendlies often feature guest players, but rarely do they get the opportunity to shine. Rodriguez, formerly of the Dallas Burn, appeared for United in the second of the Unity Games, two doubleheaders played between the MLS and WUSA teams in the New York and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas to raise funds for the Soccer United Relief Fund, which was established following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Although the second game, played at RFK Stadium on November 3, 2001, featured former United greats Jeff Agoos, Carlos Llamosa and John Harkes in addition to German legend Jurgen Klinsmann, they were upstaged by Rodriguez, as the Salvadoran defender struck a tremendous volley in the 71st minute to give United a 1-0 victory over the MetroStars.

Barrett's moment of glory in a United shirt came in London, where the longtime San Jose Earthquakes left back appeared in a benefit match against Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League. In the 85th minute, Barrett scored the lone goal of the game by running onto a Jaime Moreno through ball and putting it into the net.

As a final note, Erik Imler played 19 games for United as a central defender in 1996. However, he made a permanent contribution to the team by making the case that contains the many trophies D.C. United have won over the years.

David Lifton is a contributor to He is a member of the Screaming Eagles and longtime supporter of D.C. United.