Moreno to join Venezuela for important qualifying matches

Immediately after joining the Earthquakes in an off-season trade from their arch rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy, Quakes fans were not sure what to expect from Alejandro Moreno. But as the 2005 regular season draws to a close, it has become apparent that not only did the Earthquakes receive a hard-nosed, tireless forward who has become the team's leading goal scorer in the Jan. 5 trade that sent Todd Dunivant, Steve Cronin and a 2005 SuperDraft choice to L.A., but the club also has added another national team forward to pair with Brian Ching.

Moreno was called into the Venezuelan national team for two upcoming key World Cup qualifying matches last week. Moreno will join the Venezuelan team on Oct. 4 in preparation for the Oct. 8 game against Paraguay in Caracas. Moreno will then stay with the team for an Oct. 12 game in Brazil.

"I am very excited and very happy," Moreno said about his return to the Venezuelan nationaltTeam. "I think that a lot of work has gone into this. Certainly, to be recognized in this way is quite an honor for me and hopefully I will get an opportunity to play and I will take advantage of that opportunity. It is a great honor to play for your country and obviously there is a lot on the line for us. These are two very important games and hopefully we are going to do well."

Moreno has appeared three times in his career for Venezuela, playing against Australia in January 2004 and also appearing against Spain and Uruguay. The former UNC-Greensboro star, who came to Dallas from Venezuela for his final year of high school in 1998, will attempt to help his country into the World Cup. Venezuela currently has a 5-8-3 record and 18 points in CONMEBOL qualifying and still has an opportunity to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

"We need to concentrate on getting three points against Paraguay since we are playing in Venezuela," Moreno said about the upcoming games. "After we do that, then we will see where we stand. Certainly we are going to need some help from some other teams, we are going to need some results to go our way. But we have to take care of our end of the bargain and then we will see what we can do in Brazil."

Moreno will return to the Quakes in time to prepare for the Oct. 15 regular season finale against the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.

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