Rematch Against Iran Is Key
By ALEX YANNIS
The New York Times
January 11, 2000
The Americans are working hard to prepare for Sunday's rematch against
Iran at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. During the 1998 World Cup in
France, the Iranians defeated the United States, 2-1, in the first round.
Coach Bruce Arena, who did not lead the team in the World Cup, and the
American team are trying to erase the stigma of finishing last among the
32 nations in the cup.
The Americans will play two exhibition games against the United States
Olympic team today. Following the two scrimmages, Arena will trim the roster
from 32 players to 25.
Arena added the first full-time assistant to his coaching staff yesterday
by selecting Dave Sarachan, an old friend. The two went to Cornell and
coached at the University of Virginia and later D.C. United of Major League
Soccer. Arena also named Chicago's Bob Bradley, his most well-known assistant,
and Colorado's Glenn Myernick to be his assistants for the game against
The Iranians, who lost by 2-1 to Mexico on Sunday in Oakland, Calif.,
play Ecuador tomorrow in Los Angeles.
UNITED STATES WOMEN
The young team that went to Australia for the Australia Cup in place
of the World Cup champions, currently in a contract dispute with the United
States Soccer Federation, is 1-0-1.
After an 8-1 trouncing of the Czech Republic on Friday, the Americans
were held to a scoreless tie by Sweden yesterday in their second game.
It is considered a good result for the young Americans because the Swedish
squad featured 10 players from its 1999 World Cup team.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Now that he has renegotiated sponsorship deals worth $100 million for
the next four years, Randy Bernstein is leaving as the league's marketing
director to take a senior executive position with Yahoo. "He's leaving
us in a good situation," a league source said yesterday about the
departure of the 40-year-old Bernstein. "He's renewed all existing
sponsorships and added some new."
Bernstein's latest accomplishment is the upgrading of Kellogg to official
sponsor through 2002, a deal that was announced yesterday. Kellogg, which
has been a corporate sponsor since the league's inception in 1996, will
now have its name on one of the team's jerseys, most likely those of the
The league will announce its schedule today, with four games on opening
day, March 18. The 12 teams will play a 32-game schedule, with the vast
majority of the games scheduled for weekends. The first matchup of last
year's finalists in the championship game will be March 25, when the defending
champion D.C. United visits the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Coach Octavio Zambrano, who is currently in his native Ecuador on personal
business, started the cleanup of the MetroStars with the coaching staff.
The team is to announce today the hiring of Ken Pollard and Juan Carlos
Osorio as assistants to Zambrano. The two have been assistant coaches at
Southern Connecticut State under Tom Lang, a former Cosmos player.
The 34-year-old Pollard will be Zambrano's top assistant, while Osorio
will be the conditioning coach. Pollard has been the top assistant at Southern
Connecticut since 1997, and during that time the team compiled a 61-3-2
record and won two Division II national championships.
The 38-year-old Osorio, a native of Colombia, has played for several
teams in the metropolitan area, including the semiprofessional New York
Fever and the Brooklyn Italians. Osorio will replace Kevin O'Donnell, who
has been the conditioning coach of the MetroStars since the team's inception
in 1996. The MetroStars are expected to open their season at Miami on March
25 and have their home opener at Giants Stadium on April 1, against D.C.
WORLD CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
Coach Antonio Lopes of Brazil's Vasco da Gama ordered his players on
Sunday to wear "the sandals of humility" after their 3-1 triumph
over England's Manchester United a day earlier left them on the brink of
a place in Friday's final.
"We have been successful so far because Vasco has been a humble
team," the police detective-turned-soccer coach, told reporters. "More
than ever, it is necessary to wear the sandals of humility and not let
the win over Manchester go to our heads."
All Vasco needs to reach Friday's championship game is a tie today
in Rio De Janeiro against Mexico's Necaxa, a result Vasco's supporters
believe is just a formality.
While Vasco celebrated its triumph, United was left with time to kill
before today's match against South Melbourne of Australia. Despite its
failure to reach the final, United may have to stay in Brazil until Friday
if it finishes second in its group and qualifies for the consolation match.
United caused a controversy in England by withdrawing from the country's
Football Association Cup to go to Brazil. However, Coach Alex Ferguson
said after the loss to Vasco da Gama that he had no regrets about his decision
to take the European champions to Brazil for the tournament.