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Former King Executive Named General Manager of Galaxy

March 02, 1999|GRAHAME L. JONES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After surviving for more than four months without a general manager after the club's purchase by Philip Anschutz, the Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday named Sergio del Prado, former director of corporate sales for the Kings, to the post.

Tim Leiweke, president of both the Major League Soccer team and the Kings, said Del Prado's primary responsibility will be the business operations, including marketing and sponsorship.

Coach Octavio Zambrano will remain in charge of player sale or acquisition.

"I have no real soccer background, that's why I probably won't be doing too much with the player personnel side of things," Del Prado said.

Even so, the immediate objective for Del Prado and Zambrano is to get Salvadoran playmaker Mauricio Cienfuegos back into the fold before the season starts March 20. The midfielder has been holding out because of a contract dispute with MLS.

"Obviously, that's very important for us, both for what he brings on the field and the community that he attracts and brings out to the game," Del Prado said. " . . . It's a league issue but we've let the league know what our preference is and that we do want him signed and in a Galaxy uniform.

"But with the changes going on at the league [the firing last week of deputy commissioner Sunil Gulati, who was in charge of player contracts], we need to start that process over again."

For the last 1 1/2 years, Del Prado, 39, has been senior vice president of corporate marketing for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Organizing Committee. Before that, he spent three years with the Kings.

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Coach Bruce Arena of the U.S. men's national team recalled five of his players playing in Europe to compete in the Nike U.S. Cup '99 tournament this month in Southern California.

Called in were goalkeeper Kasey Keller from Leicester City in England, defender David Regis of FC Metz in France, and midfielder Claudio Reyna (VfL Wolfsburg), defender Tony Sanneh (Hertha Berlin) and forward Jovan Kirovski (Fortuna Cologne) playing in Germany.

Keller and Regis have not played for Arena, nor has another World Cup '98 player who was called up, midfielder Brian Maisonneuve of MLS' Columbus Crew.

The national team, which will gather in Los Angeles on Saturday to begin training at UCLA, includes Galaxy players Robin Fraser, Cobi Jones and Clint Mathis.

The U.S. plays Guatemala at the Coliseum on March 11 at 5:30 p.m. as part of a doubleheader that also features Mexico and Bolivia at 8. It then plays Mexico at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on March 13 at 12:30 p.m., with Bolivia playing Guatemala at 3.

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