ussoccer.com Interview With D.C. United Midfielder Jaime Moreno
Prior to the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship match, D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss the upcoming match as D.C. United defends their Open Cup title. Moreno is no stranger to the tournament, having scored 12 career goals in the U.S. Open Cup, the most of any player appearing in the final. He has recorded at least one goal in 1996 (3), 1997, 1999, 2000 (4), 2001, 2006 and 2009.
ussoccer.com: Can you talk about reaching the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final and the road D.C. United took to get there?
Jaime Moreno: “It’s never easy to get to any final. Definitely, we went through a tough time, especially the last two games, but then again, it’s nice to be in a final again and try to win another title for this team. Unfortunately we have kind of struggled in the last few games so I think getting that championship would be nice motivation for us. Hopefully we’ll get the championship back in D.C.
ussoccer.com: Not only are you fighting for the title, but you are also defending your Open Cup title. What difference does that make in how you prepare?
JM: “Every year is different. Obviously, when you prepare yourself at the beginning of the season, you always have in mind to achieve something and this was one of our goals, to try to win the U.S. Open Cup again. We have other things in mind but first things first, and first right now is the U.S. Open Cup, which will be a nice accomplishment again and to have another trophy in our case.”
ussoccer.com: Can you share with us your experience as part of the D.C. United legacy of winning championships, having been there since D.C. won the 1996 U.S. Open Cup?
JM: “Every year has been different, with different teammates and different coaches. There are a lot of things that are different but I think the mentality of winning championships is always the same when you come to D.C. United. Coaches and players, when they join the team, that clicks pretty quickly. You come to a team that has won so many things, that is always trying to achieve things and is always on a window of international channels where D.C. United is always recognized by them. It’s a team that definitely is a championship team and, like I said, hopefully we’ll win this Wednesday.”
ussoccer.com: What are the challenges of defending the title when there are other tournaments D.C. United is involved in?
JM: “Really it’s a final but, especially the way I look at it, it’s another game, an important game and right now, like I said, we’re trying to find a way to win. Unfortunately, we haven’t, and I think it will be a great test for us, this game, this final, that way we’ll find out if we really have a team to win championships and if we have a team that can achieve more championships. It will be a great opportunity for the younger players, for everyone that just joined D.C. United and I know that they came to a team that always tries to achieve goals and one of the goals is this Open Cup.”
ussoccer.com: How does it feel to be defending the title at home at RFK Stadium in front of your fans?
JM: “That’s even more special. We were lucky enough last year to do it at home and now, again, we have another final at home so, definitely, it’s a big one. Playing in front of your own fans, you don’t do that very often. I’m sure everybody is pumped and we can’t let that go. It’s going to be a good battle, we know that Seattle has a good team and they are also going to fight to win that championship.”