Major League Soccer today unveiled the rosters for the MLS USA Legends and MLS World Legends that will play in the 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Weekend Celebration Game on Saturday, July 31 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. MLS honors the tradition, history and pioneers of modern professional soccer in the United States by hosting the match, which will largely feature U.S. and international players who participated in the 1994 World Cup and then went on to play in MLS. The legends game will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET, with two 25-minute halves divided by a 10-minute halftime.
Sixteen of the 22 players on the U.S. roster from the 1994 World Cup team will be present for the All-Star Celebration Game. Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards) and Cobi Jones (Los Angeles Galaxy) are two standouts still currently playing in Major League Soccer and will be participating for the MLS USA Legends. Paul Caligiuri, remembered for his World Cup Qualifying goal in 1989 that propelled the U.S. to its first World Cup in 40 years and Eric Wynalda, who scored the stunning free kick for the U.S. in the opening game of the World Cup as well as the first-ever goal in MLS history, will also suit up one more time. Both were recently elected to the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame and will be inducted in October of this year.
The U.S. roster also features Alexi Lalas, the current general manager of the San Jose Earthquakes, who became the first U.S. player to play in the Italian Serie A following his successful 1994 World Cup, in which he played every minute of all four games. John Harkes, a one-time captain of Team USA and D.C. United will make a return to the RFK Stadium field where he led D.C. to three MLS Cup championships. Also participating will be icons Marcelo Balboa (Colorado Rapids) and Tab Ramos (MetroStars), the first player signed in MLS history. They kicked off their MLS careers as the face of those teams and represented the United States in three World Cups.
"Major League Soccer is a legacy of the 1994 World Cup, which remains the most successful FIFA event in history," said MLS commissioner Don Garber. "Our July 31 event in the nation's capital will allow us to pay tribute to the landmark achievements for the sport of soccer during the last 10 years. Our League is built upon the efforts and trailblazing spirit of that event and those who played in MLS during the early years, starting the modern soccer boom in the U.S."
A number of the players who burst onto the U.S. sports scene in 1994, then came back to play when MLS started, will line up for the MLS World Legends. Carlos Valderrama - still the all-time assist record holder in MLS - was the linchpin for the Colombia team that entered that World Cup with such high hopes. Marco Etcheverry, who participated for Bolivia in 1994, was the vital cog in leading D.C. United to their three MLS Cup championships.
Many of the international stars who shone brightly in the formative years of MLS made their mark on the world stage in the same era. Players like Richard Gough and Mo Johnston, who played in World Cups for Scotland, and Polish internationals Peter Nowak and Robert Warzycha have been among the greatest talents in the nine-year history of the league. Former Salvadoran internationals Mauricio Cienfuegos and Raul Diaz Arce were not only fan favorites during their days in MLS, but are still among the MLS leaders in several all-time statistical categories and each have an MLS Cup championship ring to show for it. Also returning to the field is Frank Yallop, the current head coach of the Canadian National Team, and the first former MLS player to be named head coach of a club when he led the San Jose Earthquakes to two of the last three MLS Cups between 2001 and 2003.
The MLS USA Legends team will be coached by current Honduras technical director Bora Milutinovic, the only manager in FIFA World Cup history to have guided five different nations in the World Cup finals (Mexico - '86; Costa Rica - '90; USA - '94; Nigeria - '98; China - '02). The MLS World Legends squad will be coached by former D.C. United and current U.S. national team manager Bruce Arena.
|MLS USA LEGENDS|
|Name||MLS Teams||Games/Goals/Assists||USA Caps||Goals||WC Experience||Marcelo Balboa||COL, MET||152 / 24 / 23||128||13||'90, '94, '98|
|Mike Burns||NE, SJ, KC||169 / 3 / 21||75||0||'94, '98|
|Paul Caligiuri||CLB, LA||135 / 9 / 14||110||5||'90, '94|
|Fernando Clavijo||NE||Coach: 22-31-13||61||0||'94|
|Thomas Dooley||CLB, MET||83 / 5 / 6||81||7||'94, '98|
|John Harkes||DC, NE, CLB||167 / 16 / 42||90||6||'90, '94|
|Cobi Jones||LA||213 / 59 / 74||160||14||'94, '98, '02|
|Frank Klopas||KC, CHI||89 / 13 / 16||40||12||'94|
|Cle Kooiman||TB, MIA||68 / 3 / 5||12||1||'94|
|Alexi Lalas||NE, MET, KC, LA||147 / 15 / 11||96||9||'94, '98|
|Tony Meola||MET, KC||210 (88-92-29)||99 (37-36-20)||--||'90, '94, '02|
|Tab Ramos||MET||112 / 8 / 36||81||8||'90, '94, '98|
|Juergen Sommer||COL, MET||54 (22-29-3)||8 (1-2-2)||--||'94, '98|
|Mike Sorber||KC, MET, CHI||116 / 9 / 17||67||2||'94|
|Eric Wynalda||SJ, MIA, NE, CHI||98 / 34 / 37||106||34||'90, '94, '98|
|MLS WORLD LEGENDS|
|Name||Country||MLS Teams||Games/Goals/Assists||WC Experience|
|Jorge Campos||Mexico||LA, CHI||51 (29-16-0) / 2||'94, '98, '02|
|Mauricio Cienfuegos||El Salvador||LA||206 / 35 / 80||--|
|Raul Diaz Arce||El Salvador||DC, NE, SJ, TB, COL||150 / 82 / 29||--|
|Michael Emenalo||Nigeria||SJ||56 / 1 / 4||'94|
|Marco Etcheverry||Bolivia||DC||191 / 34 / 101||'94|
|Richard Gough||Scotland||KC, SJ||67 / 16 / 42||'86, '90|
|Carlos Hermosillo||Mexico||LA||34 / 14 / 15||'86, '94|
|Mo Johnston||Scotland||KC||149 / 31 / 28||'90|
|Peter Nowak||Poland||CHI||114 / 26 / 48||--|
|Mauricio Ramos||Bolivia||TB, NE||73 / 15 / 26||'94|
|Giovanni Savarese||Venezuela||MET, NE, SJ||116 / 51 / 15||--|
|Carlos Valderrama||Colombia||TB, MIA, COL||175 / 16 / 114||'90, '94, '98|
|Martin Vasquez||Mexico||TB, SJ||87 / 9 / 16||--|
|Robert Warzycha||Poland||CLB||160 / 19 / 61||--|
|Frank Yallop||Canada||TB / coach SJ||88 / 1 / 1 and 41-25-18 as coach||--|
The 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game is the main attraction of a weekend extravaganza of soccer-themed events and programs, all of which aim to pay tribute to the past, present and future of American soccer. Thousands of the 15 million registered youth participants under the age of 18 will have the opportunity throughout the weekend to see, touch and feel the approachable heroes of Major League Soccer past and present. Through clinics, on-field presentations, pre-game and halftime ceremonies, "Soccer Celebration" events for families and youth, player autograph sessions and more, MLS will recognize the importance of youth participation as the future of our sport.
The 2004 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game featuring MLS All-Stars and the MLS Reunion Game celebrating the 1994 World Cup offers six levels of ticket pricing, ranging from $25 to $60 for individuals, and $16 to $40 for groups of varying sizes. Tickets are on sale now. Group Sales information is available by calling D.C. United at (703) 587-5000; or visiting www.dcunited.com online and RFK Stadium advance sales during all D.C. United home games. Individual tickets can be obtained through TicketMaster - (202) 432 - SEAT (metro D.C.); (410) 481 - SEAT (Baltimore & MD); (703) 573 - SEAT (Virginia); or online at www.ticketmaster.com and at all TicketMaster outlets including HECHT's, Tower Records and at RFK Stadium.