D.C. United claimed the first-ever Aloha Soccer Cup in Honolulu with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday night in front of 14,578 fans at Aloha Stadium. Christian Gomez scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as a 10-man United squad held on for victory, starting goalkeeper Nick Rimando having been shown red in the 22nd minute.
Both goalkeepers were involved in takedowns in the match as Rimando was sent to the dressing room for fouling Carlos Ruiz outside the area and Kevin Hartman conceded the penalty kick when he brought down Jaime Moreno. Second-year Argentine midfielder Gomez then deposited the ball in the net. However, the real star on the night was substitute 'keeper Troy Perkins.
The 23-year-old made several huge saves to keep D.C. on top, most notably a point-blank stoning of Ruiz just before the halftime break and a blast from the Guatemalan marksman in the 82nd minute. Perkins also was on hand to deny Paul Broome in the 49th minute, as well as shots by Joseph Ngwenya and Ned Grabavoy.
A physical warm-up scrimmage between the two sides on Thursday set the stage for Saturday's ornery clash. Alecko Eskandarian helped temperatures rise early with a late challenge on Galaxy defender Ugo Ihemelo. Later, Paul Nagamura's two-footed tackle on D.C.'s Ben Olsen produced a skirmish that resulted in both players getting their names in the referee's notebook with yellow cards. Rimando was the second United player to be dismissed in the two games against the Galaxy, Jason Thompson having been excused late in the preparatory match.
Rapids score big in pair of victories: The Colorado Rapids, who scored the fewest goals of any MLS team in the 2004 season with only 29 in 30 games, racked up eight goals in two games as they beat Florida International University and Swiss club FC Dornach in a pair of scrimmages this weekend in the Sunshine State.
On Saturday, Fernando Clavijo's side downed FIU by a 4-0 score. Kyle Beckerman led the way with two tallies, while Wolde Harris and Chris Henderson also hit the twine. Harris started the rout early when he slipped a shot past the goalkeeper in just the third minute. Beckerman then doubled the advantage shortly after halftime with a shot from 20 yards. Henderson converted a penalty kick to put the game out of reach in the 75th minute, and Beckerman added his second five minutes before the final whistle.
A second four-goal performance saw Colorado come from behind to dispose of Dornach 4-1. Dornach striker Reto Weinmann beat goalkeeper Joe Cannon with a header in the third minute to momentarily put his side on top, though Jean Phillipe "Pedro" Peguero equalized the game with a shot from 10-yards out less than a minute later.
Jeff Cunningham put Colorado in the lead five minutes after halftime with a one-time finish on a cross from Peguero. Cunningham, who joined the Rapids in offseason from the Columbus Crew, stretched the advantage seven minutes later with a well-placed shot from inside the box.
Harris scored the final goal of the game in the 83rd minute. Henderson made one of his patented runs down the right wing and served up a nice cross to Harris, who volleyed home for the Rapids' eighth goal of the weekend.
The Black and Blue will return to Denver on Monday to continue training before again heading to the South. They will face off with the Chicago Fire in Birmingham, Ala., in their first MLS exhibition of 2005 on March 12.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.