Emilio, McTavish Enjoy the View by Scoring Two Goals Each
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
That Luciano Emilio provided two goals during D.C. United's 5-0 demolition of Jamaican club Harbour View last night came as no surprise. He was, after all, the leading scorer and most valuable player in MLS last season.
The fact that his Brazilian countryman, Fred, set up a goal with a breathtaking pass and scored on a breakaway was not totally unexpected, given his flashes of brilliance a year ago.
But Devon McTavish scoring the other two goals to increase his total to three in the Champions' Cup quarterfinal series?
"He got to play a lot of different positions and the only one I haven't put him at is striker, so maybe he is trying to show me he can play up there," Coach Tom Soehn said.
On a team with several stylish Latin American stars, including new Argentine playmaker Marcelo Gallardo, McTavish usually serves various low-key functions, particularly on defense.
Before last week, when he scored during the series-opening, 1-1 tie in Kingston, Jamaica, his previous goal in a meaningful game had come in his senior year at West Virginia University in 2005.
But by adding two more in the series finale before 12,394 at RFK Stadium, the Winchester, Va., native helped propel United into the semifinals of the 46-year-old tournament that determines the top team in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
United will next face defending champion Pachuca (Mexico) or Motagua (Honduras), who play the second leg of their series tonight following a scoreless tie in the opener. The semifinals are in early April.
McTavish scored in the 26th and 68th minutes, Emilio struck three minutes apart midway through the second half, and Fred finished a breakaway in the 88th.
Afterward, team captain Jaime Moreno, MLS's career scoring leader who is sidelined with a hamstring injury, joked with McTavish that he was worried about losing his job at forward. "I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon," McTavish responded.
Explaining his sudden scoring proficiency, he said it is about "getting into the right spots and [receiving] good balls. It's not my finishing touch, that's for sure."
United has Emilio's menacing qualities and Fred's crafty skills. It has Gallardo's devilish free kicks and Moreno's experience. But there is something to be said for a player making timely runs and being in position to finish scoring opportunities.