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SOCCER

Hooligans Send Acuna to Hospital

April 16, 2004|From Staff and Wire Reports

Chile international midfielder Jorge Acuna was hospitalized Thursday because of a concussion and neck and rib injuries sustained when he was attacked by fans after a reserve team match between his club, Feyenoord of Rotterdam, and Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Hooligans invaded the field in Amsterdam and assaulted Acuna and Feyenoord forward Robin van Persie. Several other Feyenoord players also were injured.

"It was complete chaos," said Mario Been, Feyenoord's reserve team coach. Feyenoord said it would press charges against those responsible.

U.S.-Honduras

The United States will play Honduras at Foxboro, Mass., on June 2 in its final warmup match before beginning qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The match, at Gillette Stadium, will pit U.S. Coach Bruce Arena against one of his predecessors, Honduras Coach Bora Milutinovic, who coached the U.S. into the second round of the 1994 World Cup.

Arena's team is 1-2-2 in 2004, its only victory coming against Poland last month. It plays Mexico in Dallas on April 28 in another warmup match.

The Americans open World Cup qualifying with a home-and-home series against Grenada. The first game is scheduled for June 13 at Columbus, Ohio, and the return game is at St. George's, Grenada, on June 20.

WUSA Decision

The Women's United Soccer Assn., which suspended operations last fall, announced that all eight teams would play in two soccer festivals this summer in Minnesota and California.

In Blaine, Minn., the Atlanta Beat will play the New York Power, and the Boston Breakers will play the Washington Freedom on the weekend of June 17-20.

At the Home Depot Center in Carson, the San Diego Spirit will play the Carolina Courage, and the Philadelphia Charge will play the San Jose CyberRays on the weekend of June 24-27.

The league hopes to relaunch in 2005.

Fire Beaten

Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire was beaten, 2-0, by Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica on Tuesday night in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinals at San Jose, Costa Rica.

Saprissa defender Victor Flores was red-carded in the 29th minute for a violent foul on Fire defender C.J. Brown. But Chicago's one-man advantage was short-lived, because midfielder Chris Armas was ejected two minutes later when he received a second yellow card.

Fire Coach Dave Sarachan was then expelled by Guatemalan referee Carlos Batres for protesting that decision.

Saprissa went ahead on a 50th-minute goal by Andres Nunez and secured the victory when Alonso Solis added a second in the 71st minute.

--Compiled by Grahame L. Jones

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