D.C. United 6, Municipal 0
Eliseo Quintanilla hadn't played all season because of a broken leg and recurring complications. Jason Thompson had appeared in only one match after being acquired in late July. Santino Quaranta had been sidelined most of the last three years with various ailments, jeopardizing the 19-year-old forward's once-promising career.
But last night the trio made a strong late-season impression, accounting for the first three goals during D.C. United's surprisingly easy 6-0 exhibition victory over Guatemalan club Municipal before an announced 10,177 at RFK Stadium.
"I'm very happy for all these youngsters," said Coach Peter Nowak, whose team will resume MLS play Saturday against the New York/New Jersey MetroStars at Giants Stadium. "If you believe in them and give them a chance . . . they still believe what they can do."
Quintanilla scored in the 13th minute, depositing newcomer Tim Lawson's deflected cross. Quaranta set up Thompson for an easy finish four minutes later and then scored the first of his two goals in the 30th on a nicely struck one-timer from 18 yards, assisted by Thompson.
David Stokes stretched the lead to 4-0 before halftime with an eight-yard header off Quintanilla's free kick. Quaranta added his second goal 10 minutes into the second half with another exquisite one-timer, this time from 12 yards into the top of the net.
Christian Gomez added a penalty kick late in the game.
"I was happy just to be part of the team again," said Quaranta, who underwent several procedures to correct an adductor injury in the groin-abdominal area and was only available for a 24-minute stint against England's Nottingham Forest in July. "Just the whole feeling leading up to the game was really beautiful, and I can't complain scoring like that -- two great goals. It's exciting."
Only two starters from last Saturday's league match at Columbus got the starting call last night: defender Ryan Nelsen and midfielder Dema Kovalenko. The lineup included two players making their season debuts (Lawson and Quintanilla), two making their second appearances (Thompson and Quaranta) and two making their second starts (midfielders Nana Kuffour and Kevin Ara).
Teenager Freddy Adu, a reserve the last three weeks, entered at halftime. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins, returning to the starting lineup after yielding to Nick Rimando in the previous three matches, was barely tested until he had to make a leaping save on Carlos Figueroa's 22-yarder in the 75th minute.
Nowak could utilize Quaranta and Thompson on Saturday because Alecko Eskandarian must serve a yellow-card suspension and Jaime Moreno (hamstring) is questionable. The club is also close to signing veteran forward Dante Washington.