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United stands tall D.C. dominates K.C. for fourth MLS title

Posted: Monday, November 15, 2004

 

  AP Photo/Chris Carlson D.C. United's Alecko Eskandarian, left, and Jaime Moreno react after Eskandarian's second goal against the Kansas City Wizards during the first half in the MLS Cup 2004 at the Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Sunday. AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

AP Photo/Chris Carlson D.C. United's Alecko Eskandarian, left, and Jaime Moreno react after Eskandarian's second goal against the Kansas City Wizards during the first half in the MLS Cup 2004 at the Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Sunday.

AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

CARSON, Calif (AP) Peter Nowak had an empty feeling when he left the MLS Cup four years ago. He was beaming this time.

D.C. United's rookie coach and his team had just won the franchise's fourth MLS Cup, beating Kansas City 3-2 Sunday.

''I got my trophy back,'' Nowak said after Alecko Eskandarian scored twice to lead United.

Nowak was the MVP of Chicago's 1998 victory over United in Major League Soccer's championship game, then was on the field again when the Fire lost 1-0 to Kansas City in 2000.

''When you raise a trophy as a player or a coach, it's a satisfying feeling,'' Nowak said.

United spotted the Wizards an early goal, then scored three times in a seven-minute span of the first half.

Eskandarian scored in the 19th minute to tie it 1-all, then added another goal four minutes later.

United built a two-goal lead on an own-goal when a pass by 38-year-old Earnie Stewart deflected off Wizards' defender Alex Zotinca and into the net in the 26th minute.

Kansas City pulled within 3-2 on Josh Wolff's penalty kick in the 58th minute. The Wizards were awarded the kick when United's Dema Kovalenko, protecting the goal line, used his hand to knock a shot by Davy Arnaud over the bar.

Kovalenko was ejected, the first player sent off in the nine-year history of the Cup.

Despite being down a man, United held off the Wizards the rest of the way.

Freddy Adu, United's 15-year-old phenom, came on as a substitute in the 65th minute to a roar from the crowd of 25,797.

Adu became the youngest member of a pro championship team in the United States in modern sports history.

It was United's fifth title game appearance in the nine years the league has been playing, but the first since a 2-0 victory over Los Angeles in 1999. The only loss in those five trips was the 2-0 defeat by Chicago six years ago when Nowak assisted on both of the Fire's goals.



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