WASHINGTON— Before Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy, D.C. United will honor forward Jaime Moreno.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will participate in the ceremony as he led United to MLS Cup titles in 1996 and 1997 while also appearing in the 1998 as the franchise was one of the dominant clubs in the league’s early years.
Although Arena has coached a number of talented players during his career, he raves about Moreno.
“Jaime came into the league [in 1996] at 19 years old, was probably the fastest player in the league, technically as good as anyone in the league, and he scored goals,” said Arena. “He had the whole package. He really did. For a number of years, he was just a dominant player in MLS.
“I've coached some good players, and he's as good a player as I've coached in this league, and I've been around [Marco] Etcheverry and Moreno and [Eddie] Pope and [Landon] Donovan and [Robbie] Keane and [David] Beckham. He's in that class, no question about it.”
But just how did the Galaxy boss spot the D.C. United legend?
“He ran circles around Jeff Agoos [in Bolivia’s 1-0 victory over the U.S.] And I was coaching the Olympic team as well at the time. On the bus ride back after the Portugal game at RFK [in July], I was sitting with Sunil Gulati, and I said, 'Let's get him.' And we were able to turn that over kind of quickly.
“And as he would say, I owe my career to him, but I'd say it's the other way, and I'm very disappointed that one of his 50 children aren't named after me,” the Galaxy boss said with a joke.
Moreno’s induction into the Hall of Tradition may not be the only moment that involves the Bolivian soccer legend as Landon Donovan is just two goals away from one goal from tying Moreno’s 134 goals mark, which is second all-time in goals scored.