In the 81st minute, Jaime Moreno gave a signal to Ben Olsen that he was ready to come off.
He was ready to join Olsen on the sideline, ending the greatest career in MLS history. And he was ready to join Olsen in D.C. United history, along with so many other excellent players, many of whom were in attendance tonight. Etcheverry, Pope, Eskandarian. The list goes on.
That was just one of the many sentimental moments tonight. How about Moreno handing the captain's armband to Santino Quaranta? This is your team now, Tino. Or how about when Andy Najar was moved to forward to play next to Moreno for the first and last time ever? The 36-year old and the 17-year old. Najar is just 2 years older than Moreno's son James.
This was a magical night for Jaime Moreno and D.C. United. I doubt many of the 18,071 in attendance at RFK Stadium will even be able to remember that their team lost.
Some have criticized Jaime Moreno for scoring so many of his 133 career goals via penalty kick. That's true, but that also doesn't tell the full story. Because so many of his penalty kick goals also came from his own creation. I'll let Ben Olsen tell you all about it, via Craig Stouffer
Classy stuff, hitting it into a PK, hitting it into a hand. People think, 'Lucky.' No, not with him."
and Charles Boehm
"He saves a little bit of magic for the last night. Several times it really looked like the Jaime that we all know & love"
The opening goal wasn't pretty, but it was damn important. If United doesn't take the early lead, thanks to Santino Quaranta cleaning up a rebound, it's hard to say whether all the other events of the night would have transpired. It was only Quaranta's second goal of the season, which really isn't impressive considering he leads the team in starts and minutes.
I don't like that Troy Perkins gave up three goals tonight, but he also deserves credit for helping Moreno create his penalty kick goal. It was Perkins' distribution that began the sequence.
I'm really at a loss for where we go from here with Dejan Jakovic. I started this season by thoughtlessly putting him on the list of Defender of the Year candidates, but he's rarely shown that form in 2010. He might be one of the best "recoverers" in MLS, but that's only because he gives up so damn many opportunities. Devon McTavish also had a poor night. It looked like Dwayne De Rosario was McTavish's man on DeRo's first goal, and McTavish wasn't able to stay with him when Toronto FC was counterattacking for DeRo's second.
With Jaime Moreno joining Ben Olsen on the sidelines, we're all left wondering what's next. Will the two join forces as front office members of the United organization? Or will Moreno return to his home country of Bolivia to give it one last run?
And what's next for United? Clearly the 2010 season wasn't good enough, and we're bound to see plenty of changes in the coming months. I don't think Moreno was the only guy who played his last match in black-and-red tonight.
We've got plenty of time to talk further about the future of D.C. United. For today though, it's about paying our respects to the greatest career ever in Major League Soccer.