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D.C. United to honor 2004 championship team

MLS Cup winners to be welcomed at Aug. 31 match vs. New York

 D.C. United has announced that it will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its 2004 MLS Cup championship as part of the team’s Aug. 31 match against the New York Red Bulls. In addition to a video tribute, players and staff from the 2004 team will be on hand at RFK Stadium to meet D.C. United Season Ticket Holders and participate in a special presentation and ceremony prior to the match.

“The 2004 championship team was a special group of people from a variety of backgrounds who represented the growth and reach of Major League Soccer and most importantly, came together in their unified determination to win a trophy,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “Building on the club’s foundation of success in the early years of MLS, the players on the 2004 team established their own legacy, providing magical moments that season and beyond that live on in the history of the club and the league.”

Contributors to the 2004 championship run continue to inspire and succeed in professional soccer. Kasper was promoted from Technical Director to General Manager in 2007, and Ben Olsen became Head Coach of D.C. United in 2010. Head Athletic Trainer Brian Goodstein also remains on staff, as does Team Administrator Francisco Tobar, who was equipment manager from 2003-07. Beyond D.C. United, former players and staff can be found in North America and beyond, including (in alphabetical order):

· Freddy Adu, midfielder Serbian club FK Jagodina
· Brian Carroll, midfielder, Philadelphia Union
· Bobby Convey, midfielder, New York Red Bulls
· Alecko Eskandarian, assistant coach, New York Cosmos (NASL)
· Christian Gomez, midfielder, Nueva Chicago (Argentina Primera B)
· Josh Gros, team coordinator, Philadelphia Union
· Ezra Hendrickson, assistant coach, Seattle Sounders FC
· Ryan Nelsen, Head Coach, Toronto FC
· Peter Nowak, Technical Advisor, Kirkwood Soccer Club
· Kevin Payne, consultant, U.S. Soccer
· Troy Perkins, goalkeeper, Montreal Impact
· Mike Petke, Head Coach, New York Red Bulls
· Santino Quaranta, Head Coach, Baltimore Bohemians (PDL), TV broadcast analyst
· Nick Rimando, goalkeeper, Real Salt Lake
· Mark Simpson, Director of Operations, Virginia Cavalry (NASL)
· Tom Soehn, assistant coach, New England Revolution
· Earnie Stewart, Director of Football, AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands)

United captured its record fourth MLS Cup title with a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Wizards before 25,797 spectators at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on November 14, 2004. The victory culminated a three-month stretch in which D.C. United lost only twice in its final 11 regular season matches and went unbeaten in four playoff matches. Legendary forward Jaime Moreno finished the year with 7 goals and a league-leading 14 assists while Alecko Eskandarian led the team with 10 goals and added two assists.

The team also received significant contributions from Christian Gomez, who joined the team midway through the year and went on to be named the league’s most valuable player in 2006, and Freddy Adu, the first pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, who finished his rookie season with five goals and three assists. U.S. national team members Ben Olsen and Earnie Stewart each had three goals and four assists, while New Zealand native Ryan Nelsen captained the squad and local product Brian Carroll led the team in minutes played. In net, U.S. national teamer Nick Rimando captured the first of his two MLS Cups.

In the 2004 postseason, United easily dispatched the rival New York Metro Stars, 4-0 on aggregate, setting up one of the most dramatic playoff games in MLS history in the Eastern Conference final. In a contest before more than 20,000 black-clad spectators at RFK Stadium, United and the New England Revolution traded goals and settled for a 3-3 tie in regulation before Rimando denied Clint Dempsey in the first extra frame of a penalty kick shootout to secure passage into the club’s fifth MLS Cup final. Against Kansas City, Eskandarian scored twice as United tallied three times in seven minutes in the first half and held off the Wizards late despite playing with 10 men.

2004 D.C. United players and staff
Players: Freddy Adu, Kevin Ara, G.R. Cannon, Brian Carroll, Ronald Cerritos, Bobby Convey, Alecko Eskandarian, Christian Gomez, Josh Gros, Ezra Hendrickson, Dema Kovalenko, Nana Kuffour, Tim Lawson, Thiago Martins, Jaime Moreno, Bryan Namoff, Ryan Nelsen, Ben Olsen, Troy Perkins, Mike Petke, Brandon Prideaux, Santino Quaranta, Eliseo Quintanilla, Nick Rimando, Earnie Stewart, David Stokes, Andrew Terris, Jason Thompson, Doug Warren

Head Coach: Peter Nowak
Assistant coaches: Tom Soehn, Mark Simpson
Head Athletic Trainer: Brian Goodstein
Team Administrator: Ray Trifari
Equipment Manager: Francisco Tobar
Assistant Equipment Manager: Juan Gomez
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Greg Petrosian