Galaxy players to honor Cienfuegos
The Los Angeles Galaxy will be honoring former L.A. Galaxy and El Salvadoran international midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos with a farewell match on Saturday, June 5 at The Home Depot Center, the club announced today at a press conference at Liborio's in downtown Los Angeles. In what will be the largest reunion of current and former Galaxy players since the league's inception almost a decade ago, the Galaxy will celebrate the career of one of its "founding fathers" as part of an exciting doubleheader of soccer action.
Cienfuegos' farewell match will kick off at 5:00 pm on June 5 and will be played prior to the re-scheduled regular season match that evening between the Galaxy and Wizards (from July 31st) at 7:30pm. The Galaxy's international friendly vs. Sao Paulo (Brazil) has been moved to Wednesday, June 2, 2004 at 7:30 pm, making it a dynamic week of matches for Southern California soccer aficionados at The Home Depot Center.
"We are extremely pleased to give Mauricio one more chance to shine at The Home Depot Center," said Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton. "His farewell match will be a chance for the entire Galaxy family to offer him their thanks for all he accomplished for the club in his eight years."
The Galaxy also announced today that Cienfuegos, who retired after the 2003 MLS season, will be re-joining the Galaxy family immediately as a "Soccer and Business Ambassador." In his new role, Cienfuegos will be involved in a variety of areas with the Galaxy organization including outreach in the Hispanic community, clinics, broadcasting, and the Player Development Program.
"I am very happy to stay with L.A. Galaxy organization and look forward to being available to help this team, my team," said Cienfuegos on being named Soccer and Business Ambassador. "We will be searching for talented players and keeping in touch with the many Galaxy fans in the community. At the same time, I will have the opportunity to travel to South America and see how they work with their youth players. Really, I am very thankful to be part of the Galaxy again, because of all the things that I am going to be able to accomplish. I look forward to doing this job with all of my passion and love for this sport, especially for this team that supported me for many years."
"As for my farewell match, this game will be an unforgettable one for me because I will be able to share this with so many players with whom I shared so many countless moments over the years," added Cienfuegos. "I would also like to say a million thank yous to everyone, but especially want to all the people (fans) who gave me their support over my career."
In his farewell match, a high profile selection of former Los Angeles Galaxy and Major League Soccer players will meet a group of Cienfuegos' countrymen and teammates representing various Salvadoran clubs as well as the national team, in a tribute to the diminutive midfielder.
"We hope the Southern California soccer community will join us to witness an exhibition featuring a collection of truly entertaining players who laid the foundation for the proud tradition of our club," added Hamilton. "They all deserve credit for our sport reaching new heights. They helped build The Home Depot Center, one of the finest soccer facilities in the world."
Cienfuegos himself will choose the teams and play one half for each side. Among those expected to participate on the side representing the Galaxy and MLS are: goalkeeper/forward Jorge Campos and defenders Dan Calichman, Paul Caligiuri, and Greg Vanney.
Midfielders Ezra Hendrickson, Martin Machon, Danny Peña and Marvin Quijano have also confirmed playing in the match, along with forwards Raul Diaz Arce and Carlos Hermosillo. Milovan Djoric, former national team coach in El Salvador will lead the squad from Cienfuegos' homeland and former Galaxy head coach Lothar Osiander will direct the MLS charges.
Mauricio Cienfuegos retired from professional soccer at the conclusion of the 2003 MLS season, his eighth with the Los Angeles Galaxy. By the time he hung up his boots, he had become the first Galaxy player to appear in 200 MLS regular season matches, eventually finishing his career with 206.
The talented playmaking midfielder amassed 35 goals and 79 assists for a total of 149 points in his eight years with the Galaxy. His goal total ranks third in club history, trailing only Cobi Jones and Carlos Ruiz, while his assist numbers top the Galaxy charts and his total point is second only to Jones.
Tickets for the historic doubleheader of soccer June 5 at The Home Depot Center are now on sale in the following categories: Club $75, Sideline $45, Corners $35, Upper Deck $28, and Endlines $22. For information on group tickets (15 or more) or purchase the best seats now call the Galaxy Ticket Office at (877) 3GALAXY. Galaxy Full Season Plan Holders will use Bonus Game A for this match, while 5 and 10-game plan holders will have an opportunity to reserve priority seats.
The Los Angeles Galaxy resume their 2004 home schedule on Saturday, May 15 at 7 pm against John Spencer and the Colorado Rapids. In appreciation of all mothers, the Galaxy will host Soccer Mom Appreciation Night with all Moms receiving a free ticket for the game, if accompanied by a paid adult ticket. Fans interested in purchasing tickets or looking for more information should call the Galaxy ticket office at 1-877-3GALAXY or log-on to www.lagalaxy.com
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Santos Cabrera (L.A. Firpo)
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MLS and Friends
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