Jaime Moreno scored twice in the second half to lead D.C. United to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake in the opening match of the Charleston Challenge Cup in Daniel Island, South Carolina.
Moreno capitalized on a blunder from former United goalkeeper Nick Rimando late in the second half. A Rimando clearance was blocked by the good hustle from substitute Adam Cristman and the resulting rebound was easily dispatched into the empty net from 25 yards by the Bolivian sniper. Moreno added the game-winning goal just moments later when he latched onto a Santino Quaranta corner kick that made it’s way through a thicket of players to the back post where Moreno easily slid the ball home.
United played the match with a majority of starters going the full 90 minutes. Moreno, Dejan Jakovic, Devon McTavish, Troy Perkins, Santino Quaranta and Kurt Morsink all went the distance. United also got a good performance from Bolivian trialist defender Juan Manuel Pena. Pena, who played on the 1994 World Cup team with Moreno, has been playing in Spain for the better part of his career. He looked lively and in control for the 60 minutes he was on the field. Julius James replaced him and likewise was very steady as the Real Salt Lake threats were few and far between after taking a 1-0 halftime lead.
In the 41st minute, United’s defensive midfielder Morsink was whistled for a foul in the box when he challenged Ned Grabavoy. Though Grabavoy went down very easily, the match referee didn’t hesitate in pointing to the penalty spot. Robbie Findley stepped up and sent Perkins the wrong way to give the defending champs the lead.
United will now take on Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at 7:15 pm at Blackbaud Stadium. You can go to www.behindthebadge.com to view the match online, courtesy of Toronto FC