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WUSA-MLS Doubleheader at Washington Draws 36,528

May 13, 2001|From Associated Press

Men's soccer looked a lot like women's soccer Saturday night, at least when it came to dramatic last-minute goals by the visiting team.

Before a record crowd of 36,528 at RFK Stadium in Washington, Manuel Lagos scored in second-half injury time to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 3-2 victory over D.C. United to cap the first WUSA-MLS doubleheader.

Earlier, the Boston Breakers also scored in second-half injury time to salvage a 2-2 draw with the Washington Freedom.

With the Earthquakes reduced to 10 men after a red card foul on Zak Ibsen, Lagos scored his second goal of the game after a nice give-and-go between Ian Russell and Dwayne DeRosario. Lagos took the pass from Russell and scored from seven yards out to hand United its first home loss of the season.

Russell also scored in the first half for the Earthquakes. Eric Denton and Jaime Moreno scored in the second half for United.

The attendance was the largest ever for a United-headlined regular-season home game as suburban women's fans meshed with die-hard United supporters. United's only larger regular-season crowd was 51,996 for a doubleheader last year in which a United game followed a U.S. men's World Cup qualifier.

There were already 21,682 in the stadium by halftime of the women's game, offering proof that it deserved the mantel of equal billing.

"I wouldn't have come to a United game on its own," said 35-year-old Jennifer Bryson of Arlington, Va. "I wanted to come to the women's game. I'm happy to stay for a second soccer game."

United maintained that the doubleheader was a way for the 6-year-old men's club to help out the first-year Freedom, but it was clear that each team attracted fans who normally would never see the other sex play.

The die-hard, drum-banging United fans arrived in the second half, changing the feel of the stadium as they mingled among the soccer moms and dads.

"You can't beat the price, two for one," said Ernesto Castedo, 25, of Springfield, Va., wearing a United jersey as he watched the women's game. "It's something new."

Said Freedom goalkeeper Siri Mullinix: "You've got our fan base in the beginning, and as the game started to end, it was like a different environment. You have the D.C. United fans coming in, a lot more music and drums. You've got to stay focused."

Dallas 4, Columbus 0--Jorge Rodriguez scored on a penalty kick in the first half and the Burn added three second-half goals in front of 14,067 at Dallas.

New England 2, Chicago 1--Matt Okoh scored 16 seconds into overtime in front of 15,159 at Foxboro, Mass., and the Revolution ended a six-match losing streak.

Colorado 2, Tampa Bay 1--John Spencer netted two penalty-kick goals, extending his scoring streak to five consecutive games, before 13,052 at Denver.

San Diego 1, Atlanta 1--A fancy throw-in from Kim Pickup in the 83rd minute eluded a crowd and bounced into the net off Atlanta goalkeeper Briana Scurry to give the Spirit a 1-1 tie before 7,745 in a WUSA game at Atlanta.

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