- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 23, 2002

Argentina's economy may be in the pits, but its soccer players still cost a pretty penny.
D.C. United coach Ray Hudson is back from a two-week scouting trip there with word that there are no bargains to be found. That hasn't discouraged New York/New Jersey MetroStars coach Bob Bradley from visiting Argentina or New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol, who also is on his way south.
Although Hudson didn't name the players he scouted, he said he was no longer interested in Cesar La Paglia, 23, a talented attacking player with Talleres whom he now considers "too expensive and not worth it." However, Hudson has spotted a midfielder who will be involved in tomorrow's clash between Indepediente and Boca Juniors that could decide Argentina's champion.
But bringing new talent to United all depends on negotiations between Major League Soccer and United's highly paid veterans, Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno. If both remain, Hudson will have little money for strengthening his roster. Etcheverry's situation with the league, according to Hudson, is nearing a decision and will be announced soon.
"Negotiations are one thing," Hudson said, "but performance has to be taken into account, and you have to look at the last couple of years."
United has failed to make the playoffs the last three seasons, and Etcheverry and Moreno who along with defender Eddie Pope eat up two-thirds of the team's $1.6million salary cap have been below par. Moreno, usually the club's most prolific scorer, managed just three goals last season. With little money to spend, Hudson knows he may have to make some painful cuts to get new players.
"There will be one or two innocent victims in this because of the brutality of the salary cap," Hudson said. "I'm going to have to throw somebody under the train."
College update George Washington (13-8) plays American (12-7-1) at 1 p.m. today in the first round of the 48-team NCAA men's tournament. Today's winner will meet No.2 Maryland (17-4), which has a bye, at College Park at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Virginia (15-6) also has a bye and plays the winner of the William & Mary-Duke game. This is Maryland's highest seed ever in the tournament.
The Debbie Keller saga It looks like former North Carolina and U.S. team star Debbie Keller will get her day in court. A federal judge in Raleigh, N.C., declined to dismiss a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Keller against the University of North Carolina in June 1999. The case could go to court within a year.
Keller and Melissa Jennings, a reserve player at the school, filed the $12million suit against the college, contending that coach Anson Dorrance sexually harassed them. The case lay dormant for three years, but last month Keller broke her silence in an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer. Dorrance, who led the Tar Heels to 17 NCAA championships, has refused to comment.
Keller played for Dorrance from 1993 to 1996 and is listed as one of the program's greatest players. She was national player of the year in 1996.
The case could get very ugly if it's not settled.
"Once players are deposed, the truth will come out," said Keller's mother, Judy, who called The Washington Times this week. "Debbie was hurt, but she's OK. Others weren't so lucky. Those players just disappeared. After 12 hours in a courtroom, many of those girls will speak."
Judy Keller said many famous U.S. national team players, including Mia Hamm, could be dragged into court.
"Mia Hamm was very close to Debbie. Mia is going to die over this," she said.
Debbie Keller is now married and works as a hairdresser in Raleigh.
Summers not over? Summers Restaurant in Arlington, one of the area's most famous soccer watering holes, will not be closing after all. The bar will hold a special ceremony Monday at 2p.m. as it signs a 20-year lease. The president of the Arlington County Board will be on hand, along with many supporters of Summers.
Korean champs Korean club Songnam Chunma won its second league title in a row after downing the Pohang Steelers 4-1 on Sunday to claim top K-League honors for the fifth time. Strangely, not one player from Chunma was called up for South Korea's World Cup team this summer.
World Cup defender Hong Myung Bo, who was recently acquired by the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS, made his final appearance with the Steelers. On Wednesday, Hong, one of only two players to play in four World Cups, played his last game for South Korea in the team's 3-2 loss to Brazil in Seoul. Hong will be the first Korean to play in MLS.


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