- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 4, 2003

A new year is upon us, but before I get my new cleats muddy allow me one quick glance back at 2002.

Great moments of the year:

•Clint Mathis scores the go-ahead goal against South Korea in Daegu. Mathis collects a pass from John O'Brien, settles the ball with his right foot and then clinically drives home a left-footed shot. The Koreans went on to tie the game 1-1.

•The U.S. team is three goals down against Poland and looking certain to catch an early plane home from the World Cup. Attention is focused on South Korea stuck in a scoreless tie with Portugal with 20 minutes left. Then Park Ji-Sung scores to eliminate the Portuguese and send the grateful Americans through to the last 16.

•England's David Beckham recovers from a broken foot to score the game-winner against Argentina. I yelled so loud I scared the dog.

Low moments of the year:

•Ireland's talented midfielder Roy Keane abandons his country's World Cup team after a flap with the coach.

•Watching the replay of Keane's brutal foul against Alf-Inge Haaland in 2001, which was shown repeatedly on TV after the Manchester United captain admitted in a new book that he deliberately set out to injure the Manchester City defender.

And now for the awards:

World coach of the year A tie between Guus Hiddink, who coached South Korea, and American coach Bruce Arena.

Major League Soccer coach of the year Steve Nicol didn't win the big one for the New England Revolution, but he turned around a club that had previously won one postseason game and led it to the MLS Cup.

Quote of the year "This is big, this is Anna Nicole Smith big." Ray Hudson upon being named coach of D.C. United.

Curse of the year Clint Mathis makes the cover of Sports Illustrated before the World Cup. After the finals, talk of a $1 million move to German giant Bayern Munich fizzles and the season ends with his coach at the MetroStars telling him he needs to see a psychologist.

Best spokesperson for soccer in America San Diego midfielder Julie Foudy. She does it intelligently and with a smile.

And things to look forward to:

•Former Arsenal midfielder Gilles Grimandi looks set to become the first Frenchman to play in MLS if he decides to join the Colorado Rapids.

•South Korean World Cup defender Hong Myung Bo will be the first Korean to play in MLS when he suits up for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

•American World Cup star Brian McBride heads to England to play for Everton in the Premier League. The Columbus Crew striker signed a three-month loan with Everton.

And if you would oblige me, now for my All-Star lists, which are bound to upset some:

World All-Star team Goalie: Oliver Kahn (Germany); Defenders: Rio Ferdinand (England), Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Cafu (Brazil), Lilian Thuram (France); Midfielders: David Beckham (England), Michael Ballack (Germany), Pablo Aimar (Argentina), Gilberto Silva (Brazil); Forwards: Rivaldo (Brazil), Ronaldo (Brazil). World second team: Goalie: Brad Friedel (United States) ; Defenders: Alious Cisse (Senegal), Lucio (Brazil), Sol Campbell (England), Dietmar Hamann (Germany); Midfielders: Clarence Seedorf (Holland), Torsten Frings (Germany), Yildiray Basturk (Turkey), Zinedine Zidane (France); Forwards: Michael Owen (England), Thierry Henry (France).

MLS All-Star team Goalie: Nick Rimando (D.C. United); Defenders: Milton Reyes (United), Jay Heaps (New England), Wade Barrett (San Jose), Alexi Lalas (Los Angeles); Midfielders: Steve Ralston (New England), Ronnie Ekelund (San Jose), Mark Chung (Colorado), Cobi Jones (Los Angeles); Forwards: Taylor Twellman (New England), Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles). Special mention: M Carlos Valderrama (Colorado), F Landon Donovan (San Jose) and M Ben Olsen (United).

All-WUSA team Goalie Lakeysia Beene (San Jose), Defenders: Danielle Slaton (Carolina), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia), Jen Grubb (Washington Freedom); Midfielders: Hege Riise (Carolina), Mia Hamm (Freedom), Angela Hucles (Boston), Julie Foudy (San Diego); Forwards: Abby Wambach (Freedom), Birgit Prinz (Carolina), Tiffeny Milbrett (New York). Special mention: F Charmaine Hooper (Atlanta), F Marinette Pichon (Philaldelphia).

Best of the rest Goalies: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Kasey Keller (United States); Defenders: Sun Jihai (China), Paolo Montero (Uruguay), Thomas Linke (Germany), Walter Samuel (Argentina); Midfielders: Claudio Reyna (United States), Carsten Ramelow (Germany), Robert Pires (France), Kaka (Brazil), Ronaldinho (Brazil); Forwards: Hernan Crespo (Argentina), Elber (Brazil), Ahn Jung-hwan (South Korea), Patrick Kluivert (Holland), Filippo Inzaghi (Italy), Mario Jardel (Brazil) and Luis Figo (Portugal).

Note In a nationwide poll by U.S. Soccer, Summers Restaurant in Arlington was voted the best soccer bar in America.

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