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Heat Is Latest L.A. Soccer Casualty

June 02, 1991

Paul McLeod's story (May 12) about the comedy of errors called the Los Angeles Heat soccer club was long overdue.

It is to be applauded that the shortest section--three paragraphs--focused on the most important asset of any sports franchise: the players. How disappointed, neglected and frustrated they must feel after giving their best and coming within an eyelash of a national championship, yet knowing the dismal organization of the front office.

Torrance calls itself, "Soccer City, U.S.A.," yet the national team could attract only a handful of fans to a game at El Camino in March. The missing element is publicity.

Don Reynolds, Larry Friend and Alan Rothenberg, current United States Soccer Federation president, were general partners of the Los Angeles Aztecs in 1978. These three helped decimate an assembly of soccer stars and acquired neophytes, effectively butchering soccer in Los Angeles. Soccer was turned off as efficiently as a lawn sprinkler in a drought.

The brave Heat came and tried and burned out.

A soccer league is a mandatory requirement of FIVA, the international governing body of soccer, for the U.S. to play host to the World Cup in 1994. A franchise in Los Angeles is imperative.

Who is willing to come along with the money, or is the butcher wielding his knife again?

BRIAN PUGH

Torrance

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