Jaime Moreno scores a goal in his final game, but D.C. United clinches its worst season with 3-2 loss to Toronto FC
Saturday, October 23, 2010; 11:26 PM
Jaime Moreno stood over the ball sitting on the penalty spot, a fitting moment on the final day of a magnificent career with D.C. United. He had entered Saturday's match with a share of the MLS career scoring lead, and though he would surely surrender the mark the next day or next year, this was his chance to go out on top.
So in the 39th minute of United's 3-2 loss to Toronto FC , Moreno stuck the ball into the right side of the net for his 133rd regular season goal - a cool, pinpoint finish in the narrow gap between the goalkeeper's hand and the post. He was the scoring king again.
On an evening of tributes and tears, the Bolivian forward said goodbye with an 82-minute performance in front of 18,071 appreciative spectators at RFK Stadium.
He moved back ahead of FC Dallas's Jeff Cunningham, who had caught up to Moreno late this season. Dallas will play Los Angeles on Sunday.
After the match, Moreno tried to address the crowd over the public-address system but was too choked up to fully express himself.
"I never thought it was going to be this hard," he said in a postgame media session. "This is pretty devastating."
Santino Quaranta scored 62 seconds into the match for United (6-20-4), which completed the worst season in club history. After Maicon Santos's equalizer, Moreno's goal provided a 2-1 lead. But Dwayne De Rosario scored in the 48th and 65th minutes for Toronto (9-13-8).
Moreno, 36, arrived at RFK with family and friends. With late-day shadows stretching over the old stadium, he made a solitary walk on the field-side gravel toward the locker room tunnel. The public had yet to enter, but banners were already in place:
"MVP for Life"
"Thanks for the Magic"
Looking to the upper deck, he saw his name spelled out, each black letter 10 rows tall. His uniform number (99) was also arranged over the dull-yellow seats.