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U.S. TEAM BIDS ADIEU TO CUP THEY MAY HAVE RATHER PASSED ON

          Team USA's 1-0 loss to Yugoslavia in France "concluded
     a couple of tumultuous weeks at the World Cup for the U.S.
     team, which had been shaken by several players' public
     criticism of Coach Steve Sampson, mass lineup changes and,
     of course, disappointing defeats," according to Amy Shipley
     of the WASHINGTON POST.  Forward Eric Wynalda: "This was
     terrible."  Midfielder Tab Ramos: "The whole thing was a
     shambles."  Shipley: "With a few exceptions, players seemed
     careful not to voice overly negative opinions.  U.S. Soccer
     Federation President Alan Rothenberg ... advised players
     during a pregame meeting not to make statements they would
     regret" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/26).  In N.Y., Mark Cannizzaro
     calls the U.S. team a "rudderless, bickering, embarrassing
     emotional wreck" (N.Y. POST, 6/26).  In Boston, John Powers
     writes the World Cup ended for the U.S. team "with finger-
     pointing and second-guessing and bitterness" (BOSTON GLOBE,
     6/26).  Header over Bonnie DeSimone's game report in the
     CHICAGO TRIBUNE: "U.S. Players Save Best Shots For Sampson"
     (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/26).  USA TODAY's Marco della Cava calls
     it a "disastrous tournament for the Americans" (USA TODAY,
     6/26).  The AP's Ron Blum calls it an "utter, total wreck of
     a World Cup" (Mult., 6/26).  The WALL STREET JOURNAL's
     Stefan Fatsis writes that as the team "faltered, dissension
     mounted, sending bad vibes to the U.S. public."  But USSF
     President Alan Rothenberg said, "We are inching forward as a
     world soccer power.  It's a long, hard struggle to get to
     the top" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/26).  
          OTHER REAX: ESPN's Jeremy Schaap: "In virtually every
     respect, this World Cup was a dismal failure for Team USA. 
     Battered and bloodied, it was finally put out of its misery
     Thursday night" ("SportsCenter," 6/25).  On ESPN SportsZone,
     Team USA member Brian McBride writes that while the
     tournament was "terribly disappointing," he stressed the
     "positives" of aggressive play (ESPN SportsZone, 6/26).  But
     in Detroit, Charlie Vincent writes, "Not many people in the
     United States care enough to get upset" (DETROIT FREE PRESS,
     6/26). In DC, William Gildea: "The long and the short of the
     U.S.'s disastrous 1998 World Cup is that the U.S. federation
     picked the wrong coach" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/26).  
          IT'S A FINE, FINE DAY FOR A REUNION: Sampson said
     Friday in Paris that he would levy "significant" fines
     against the players who complained (AP/WASH. POST, 6/26).

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