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Crew Happy McBride Decided to Help Out

March 24, 2003|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Brian McBride, the U.S. national team striker who elected to play for Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew on Sunday instead of for Everton in its English Premier League game against Arsenal, created two goals as the Crew shut out Deportivo Arabe Unido of Panama, 3-0, in Columbus, Ohio, to advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

McBride, who cut short his loan spell with Everton by a couple of days in order to help the Crew rebound from a 2-1 loss in the series' first game in Panama, twice found teammate Edson Buddle with precise passes that Buddle turned into goals in the 42nd and 59th minutes.

Kyle Martino, another Crew youngster who, like Buddle, has been called up to play for the U.S. against Venezuela in Seattle on Saturday, added a third goal in the 70th minute to give the Crew a 4-2 aggregate victory.

The Crew will play either Comunicaciones of Guatemala or Morelia of Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Revolution Routed

The New England Revolution left itself with a huge mountain to climb after being trounced, 4-0, Sunday by LD Alajuelense in Alajuela, Costa Rica, in the first game of its two-game CONCACAF Champions Cup series.

Coach Steve Nicol's MLS squad was forced to defend from the start by the five-time Costa Rican champions and fell behind after 17 minutes when Erick Scott scored off the rebound of a Rolando Fonseca shot that was blocked by Revolution goalkeeper Adin Brown.

Fonseca scored on a penalty kick in the 32nd minute to make it 2-0 after Jay Heaps had fouled Scott, who got his second goal, also on a penalty kick, in the 82nd minute. Alejandro Alipzar scored the fourth goal in stoppage time.

The second game of the series is Wednesday night, also in Costa Rica, the Revolution having elected to give up its home game.

Arsenal on Top

Having seen Manchester United briefly grab the English Premier League lead Saturday, defending champion Arsenal wasted little time reclaiming it Sunday, defeating Everton, 2-1, in London.

French midfielder Patrick Vieira scored the game-winner for the Gunners to put Arsenal two points ahead with seven games to play.

Pascal Cygan had given Arsenal the lead, but Everton teenager Wayne Rooney tied it on an exceptional solo effort before Vieira's heroics for Coach Arsene Wenger's squad.

Elsewhere, fifth-place Liverpool stayed in contention for a European Champions League berth next season by defeating Leeds United, 3-1, to ruin the debut of Leeds Coach Peter Reid, who took over after Terry Venables was fired on Friday.

Pumpido in Trouble

Argentine Coach Nery Pumpido, who last year led Olimpia of Paraguay to the Copa Libertadores title, has offered to step down in the wake of four unimpressive results in this season's tournament.

Pumpido, the goalkeeper on Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning team, said he would leave the decision about his future to Osvaldo Dominguez Dibb, Olimpia's president. Olimpia has tied three and lost one of its Copa Libertadores games.

Japan-Uruguay

Japan, which Friday withdrew from a two-game tour of the U.S. because it feared for the safety of its players, has arranged to play Uruguay in Tokyo on Friday instead of in San Diego on Wednesday.

Uruguay has agreed to travel to Japan instead of the U.S., the Japanese Football Assn. (JFA) said Sunday.

Celtic Surprised

Scottish champion Celtic was knocked out of the Scottish Cup in the quarterfinals Sunday when it was upset, 1-0, by Caledonian, which got a first-half goal from Dennis Wyness and then withstood intense pressure from the UEFA Cup semifinalists to earn the momentous victory.

The first division club will play either Dundee of the Scottish Premier League or first division Falkirk in the semifinals. The other semifinal pits Motherwell against either Rangers or Dunfermline Athletic.

Benfica Farewell

A capacity crowd of 55,000 turned out in Lisbon on Sunday to see Benfica play its final game at the city's famous Stadium of Light.

Known locally as "the cathedral," the stadium was built in 1954 and will be torn down after Portugal's game against Brazil on Saturday. A new stadium is being built in time for the 2004 European Championship.

Benfica's Simao Sabrosa scored Benfica's final goal at its old home in a 1-0 victory over Santa Clara.

Hiddink Uncertain

Coach Guus Hiddink, whose PSV Eindhoven team defeated defending Dutch champion Ajax Amsterdam, 2-0, Sunday to virtually assure it of winning the title this season, said he is uncertain about returning to South Korea to see his former team play Colombia this week.

South Korea, which Hiddink guided to the semifinals of the World Cup, is playing its first match under new Coach Humberto Cuelho of Portugal on Saturday, and Hiddink told PSV's Web site that he has "serious doubts" about attending.

"It is the first game of the new coach and I really have no intention of getting under his feet," Hiddink said. "I know that I will be the center of interest the moment I am there. ... "

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