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Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Thursday, March 9, 2000

Five former MPSF
teams band together

THE men's soccer teams at five Pac-10 schools have left the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, citing the MPSF's low Rating Percentage Index last fall as the reason why.

Last year the MPSF expanded its men's soccer membership. The new teams lowered the RPI ranking and cost the league an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

California, Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Oregon State went to a five-team affiliation although it won't qualify as an official conference.

NCAA bylaws require six teams for an official conference and an automatic tournament berth going to its champion.

What irked the schools was UCLA, No. 3 nationally with an 18-2 record, having to play a quarterfinal-round match at Virginia (12-8-1).

The Pac-10 schools will control their strength of schedule better and compete for NCAA at-large berths this fall.

The RPI was originally devised by the NCAA to assist the selection committee in filling the 64 berths in the men's basketball tournament.

With the RPI now used for the same purpose in several other sports, coaches watch their team's ranking as much as they watch film of opposing teams.

The RPI's three parts are: Division I winning percentage, schedule strength and opponents' strength of schedule.


The United States Soccer Federation would like to have a permanent training center for its national teams.

The USSF has never had a national training facility, relying on minicamps and college and youth facilities in the past. The goal is to have a facility ready by spring of 2002.

The training center would include a stadium with at least 7,000 seats, a minimum of six grass practice fields, two artificial-turf practice fields, locker rooms, trainers' rooms, a residential hall that houses 240 and includes a dining area, plus parking for 2,500 cars.

USSF president Bob Contiguglia said "The slate is clean and we will be accepting proposals from anyone in the country who has the infrastructure and desire to build and host a state-of-the-art facility."

April 15 is the deadline to express an interest in such an undertaking.


In case you didn't notice, qualifying for the 2002 World Cup began last weekend with Trinidad and Tobago routing Netherlands Antilles, 5-0, in the first of 809 matches necessary to determine the 32 teams that will join co-hosts Japan and South Korea in the finals.

And you thought the NBA playoffs went on forever.

There are 198 countries competing, hoping to be in the Far East June 1-30, 2002.

The United States has a bye in the early rounds and won't play its first match until early September, when regional semifinals begin.


Lothar Matthaeus went out a winner as Germany's Bayern Munich routed Real Madrid, 4-1, yesterday to secure a berth in the quarterfinal round of the Champions Cup.

The 38-year-old defender will join the New York-New Jersey MetroStars tomorrow. The Major League Soccer team had the worst league record in 1999.

Matthaeus, 1991 FIFA Player of the Year and 1999 German Footballer of the Year, agreed to the move last fall.

He considered not coming after MetroStars coach Bora Milutinovic and GM Charlie Stillitano were fired.

But new NY-NJ coach Octavio Zambrano convinced Matthaeus to keep his commitment during a January meeting in Spain.

Matthaeus set a record by playing his 144th international for Germany last month.

Al Chase has been covering sports in Hawaii
since 1968. His column appears on Thursdays.
From the local ranks to the World Cup,
Al Chase will help keep you up to date on futbol.

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