What ever happened to? Jaime Moreno

Jaime Moreno in the
Middlesbrough away strip.
When Bryan Robson took over as Middlesbrough manager in 1994 one of his earliest signings was Bolivian striker Jaime Moreno from Bolivian side Blooming. Moreno was the first Bolivian to play professional football in the UK, back in the era when the influx of foreign footballers to English football was only a steady trickle.

He played 20 league games for Middlesbrough in the 1994-95 season scoring one goal, which came in a 1-1 draw against Barnsley on 11 March 1995. He did not have a good goal scoring record for Middlesbrough but he is fondly remembered as one of the squad that won the 1994-95 division one championship and promotion to the Premier league.

It was during his time in the North-East that Jaime met his wife Louise. She went with him to live in the US, they have had five children.

In 1996 he left the Boro to join MLS "soccer" side DC United. His first few years with the team were a great success, he helped them to win the MLS Cup in 1996 and 1997, the US Open Cup in 1996 and he won the MLS Golden Boot with 16 goals in 1997 .

He was a key player for the Bolivia national team during the 1997 Copa América where they reached the final only to lose out 2-0 against Brazil, easily their best performance in the competition since they won it for the one and only time in 1963.

In 1997 he was loaned back to Middlesbrough where he scored a single goal in his five appearances, an 80th minute winner against Stoke City on 1 February 1998.

Moreno became an iconic player
for MLS side DC United.
Back at DC United in 1998 he was part of the team that won the international CONCACAF Champions League and then the last ever edition of the Copa Interamericana (Interamerican Cup) beating Brazilian side Vasco da Gama 2-1 on aggregate. That season he was runner up in the MLS MVP (most valuable player) to fellow Bolivian team mate Marco Etcheverry.

In 1999 he helped DC United to another MLS Cup scoring the winning goal in the final, he then played in his fourth Copa América tournament for Bolivia. In the early 2000s his form began to slip and he put on weight. He was dropped from the Bolivia national team in 2000, missed most of the 2001 season due to injury and most of the 2002 season due to a fall out with coach Ray Hudson. In 2003 he was traded to New York MetroStars where he scored 2 goals in 11 games, including one against DC United.

In 2004 he returned to United and began to regain his form, helping United to their 4th MLS Cup and earning another nomination for the MVP award at the end of the season. In 2005 he was named in the MLS all Time Best XI along with fellow South Americans Marco Etcheverry and Carlos Valderrama.

Jaime Moreno played 75 times for the Bolivia national team.
In 2007 Moreno made a surprise return to the Bolivia national team in a friendly against Ireland, ending nearly seven years of international exile. He did enough to earn himself a place in the Copa América 2007 squad, but there was no repeat of the 1997 success with Bolivia eliminated in the first round in his fifth and last appearance in the tournament. He made his 75th and last appearance for Bolivia on 22 October 2008 in a 2-0 defeat to El Salvador, making him the 9th most capped player in the history of the Bolivia national team.

In 2010 Jaime and his wife launched their charity called 99 Dreams, One Heart Foundation, which has the twin objectives of supporting youth development in soccer and funding research into Lyme disease (his wife and two of his children are sufferers).

By the time Moreno announced his imminent retirement from professional football on 12 August 2010 he had set the all time goalscoring record in the MLS currently 132, became the only player to achieve 100 goals and 100 assists in the league, had been picked in 5 MLS Best XIs and the All Time Best XI and is one of only two players to have played in all of the15 MLS seasons along with Jesse Marsch.
 

When Moreno moved to the US he intended to stay a couple of years then move back to European football, but as it went his family settled there and he became a club legend and a record breaking player in American soccer. The Boro faithful that saw Moreno playing game after game without scoring back in in 1994 may find it hard to believe that he has had all of this success since leaving the club, but I'm fairly sure that none of them begrudge him it.

See also




Part of the What ever happened to? series.

2 comments:

  1. Corrections made - Spelling of Bryan & clarification that Moreno's quoted stats refer to league games in 1994-95.

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  2. Correction - Wikipedia was wrong about him signing from Independiente Santa Fe. He signed from Club Blooming as has been pointed out by several Boro fans. Cheers, I'm always prepared to admit when I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete