Being Kovalenko when being Kovalenko wasn't cool...

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by Cantankerous, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Cantankerous

    Cantankerous New Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    United country
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A blast from the past. A WP story about the kind of gritty player every team needs. I LOVE the last paragraph.

    Gori Comes Up Big for United
    By Josh Barr Correspondent
    Thursday, October 3, 1996

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Defender Mario Gori is not the flashiest player on D.C.
    United. He does not score many goals or make the pretty passes that
    wind up on highlight videos.

    But it is plays like the one Gori made Wednesday night that have earned
    the 23-year-old from Argentina respect from his peers and fans. Minutes
    after the United lost its tenuous 1-0 lead, Gori made a steal in the
    offensive end, Marco Etcheverry got fouled and Raul Diaz Arce converted a
    penalty kick as the United defeated the New York/New Jersey MetroStars,
    2-1, in the decisive game of the Eastern Conference best-of-three
    first-round playoffs series.

    "By that time of the game, I was really tired," said Gori, who had one
    goal and three assists in 25 regular season games. "I won the ball a
    couple times and second time I got the ball [we] got it to Etcheverry, and
    as big a player as he is, he got the penalty and the rest is history."
    The United will face the Tampa Bay Mutiny in the best-of-three Eastern
    Conference finals. Gori spent the last three seasons with Rosario Central
    in Argentina, but was never able to crack the Argentina national team. He
    came to the United States in the spring and the United took him with the
    eighth pick of the supplemental draft. He began the season as a reserve but
    quickly moved into the starting lineup.

    "I am proud of him because he has come in here and didn't have a starting
    position at the beginning of the season and he has worked very hard and
    now he is a mainstay at left back for us," said United midfielder John
    Harkes, a U.S. national team veteran. "I am glad to have him there behind me.
    "You know Mario is going to give you 100 percent effort, always. The guy
    never dies on you. He is like an Eveready battery; he just keeps going. ...
    Sometimes he plays a little more with his heart than with his head but he
    has really settled down. He has matured as a player the last two months."
    Gori's presence was felt Wednesday night as he often moved forward into an
    attacking position. However, perhaps his biggest role was shutting down
    MetroStars forward Tab Ramos. Ramos, who had three goals and 10 assists
    during the regular season, had just one shot on goal Wednesday and had
    difficulty setting up his teammates. The MetroStars’ lone goal was a result
    of a miscue by United defender Clint Peay.

    Gori "was steady," said United Coach Bruce Arena. "He was matched up with
    Ramos, who is obviously one of the best players in the league, and he had a
    very good game. There is no question about that. I think his play the last
    two months has been great.

    While Gori's defensive play often goes unnoticed, his hard work and
    persistence does not. United fans often chant Gori's name whenever they see him hustling. "I understand that the people love Jaime Moreno and Marco
    Etcheverry because they score goals. They make the big plays," Gori said.
    "To love me, because I am a defender, makes me appreciate it even more. I
    am a defender, all I do is run around the field and give it my best."

    Copyright 1996
  2. NicktheGreek

    NicktheGreek Member+

    Feb 15, 2001
    Damn, watching Mario play was great experience. You could see the passion for the game on his face. Sadly, that year it was rare to see his name in print without a reference to the fiasco concerning false rape charges against both him and RDA that weren't put to rest till the following year. His steal on Kevin Hartman and the ensuing goal still remains my fondest RFK memory. He was quite popular with the Pittsburgh River Hounds fans who carried the GORI chant along too.
    Thanks for the post
  3. CHICO13

    CHICO13 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 4, 2001
    SECTION 135
    The Strongest La Paz
    Nat'l Team:
    Good memories. Mario was always one of the old Barra's favorites. It all came about one night when we were playing the Fusion. Gori came running towards us going 100 mph to try and win the ball. He slid head first into the sign boards and crashed with a mighty thud. He then got up, ran back...stole the ball and fed it to Harkes. The Barra went nuts :D

    Mario Gori...Barra member for life
  4. Barbara

    Barbara BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 29, 2000
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've never quite gotten over losing Gori. I loved him.
  5. Allan Quatermain

    Oct 23, 2001
    The Lost City of Gol
    DC United
    Not quite. This story is from 96. The false rape charge didn't come until late in the 97 season.

Share This Page