Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thank You Jaime Moreno...

Two weeks from today, on Saturday October 23rd, MLS legend Jaime Moreno will make his final appearance for DC United, the club he has played most of his career with.  With only weeks remaining in the career of one of the premier players in the history of the MLS, it is not too early to begin heaping the accolades on Sr. Moreno, which he has so richly earned:

Item:  Jaime Moreno is the all-time MLS scoring leader, having surpassed Dallas Burn star Jason Kreis on August 22, 2007 with a goal against Red Bull New York.  With two weeks left in his career, his career goal tally stands at an astonishing 134 goals.

Item:  On April 17, 2009, Moreno became the first MLS player ever to reach the mark of 100 goals and 100 assists when he assisted on a Ben Olsen stoppage time goal.

Item:  In 1994 Jaime Moreno became the first Bolivian to play in the English Premier League, when he signed for FC Middlesbrough.

Item:  Jaime Moreno won the 1997 MLS Cup MVP trophy.

Item:  Moreno is a seven-time MLS All-Star: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010.

Item:  As a regular on the Bolivian national team, Jaime Moreno played in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and in the Copa America in 1997, scoring goals against Paraguay, the United States, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru in international competition.

Item:  Jaime Moreno was a team leader and instrumental in FOUR DC United MLS championships, in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2004.  He was there for every one of our triumphs.

Item:  Moreno is a two-time US Open Cup champion, in 1996 & 2008

Item:  Moreno helped United win the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1998.

Item:  In 2005 Jaime Moreno was named to the MLS All-Time Best XI team, even before his illustrious career was over.

Over his illustrious 18-year career, Jaime Moreno has spent 14 years with DC United (with three at FC Middlesbrough in the Premier League, and one year with the MLS MetroStars, now Red Bull New York).  DC United has been Jaime Moreno's home for most of his career.  He will always be remembered as a DC United man.

According to DC United President Kevin Payne, Jaime Moreno is "Arguably the greatest player in the history of Major League Soccer."  I agree.

Moreno has announced his intention to return to his native Boliva, but he also has a standing offer from DC United to come back and work for the club.  It is a beautiful gesture and perhaps Sr. Moreno will accept the offer.  We can only hope.

So, with a sense of gratitude for the championships and the memories, and deep appreciation for his many football accomplishments, I say, "Thank you Jaime Moreno."  You were the best, and you will be missed. 

Players like this are never easily replaced.