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Razov powers Chicago to 3-1 decision over San Jose in opener; D.C. United triumphs.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Saturday, March 20, 1999) -- With striker Roman Kosecki sidelined with a three-game suspension, Ante Razov picked up the slack with two goals and an assist, helping the Chicago Fire to a successful start in defense of its Major League Soccer championship, a 3-1 decision over the San Jose Clash tonight before 15,238 at Spartan Stadium.

In the MLS opener for both teams, it was the host Clash that got on the scoreboard first when Jeff Baicher scored on a spectacular diving header off a cross from rookie Scott Bower for a 1-0 advantage in the 32d minute.

"Good solid win in first game," Fire coach Bob Bradley said. "We had a solid second half and it is nice to see the team stick with things after falling behind. A good come-from-behind win on the road. We expected them to play all out, high pressure and we were prepared to play our game. We knew they were going to come out and attack and pressure right from the start of the game."

After intermission, Razov went to work. In the 58th minute, Chris Armas sent a long ball from Chicago's defensive half to Josh Wolff, who the knocked the pass down to Razov for a brilliant strike from the top of the penalty area and a 1-1 tie. The goal ended Clash keeper David Kramer's shutout streak at 398 minutes -- dating back to the 1998 season -- the second-longest in MLS history, behind Tony Meola's stretch of 414 scoreless minutes for the MetroStars in 1996.

"In the second half we really opened it up," Razov said. "Josh and I worked well together. We spread their defense out, we got behind them, put a lot of pressure on them and really created our chances then."

Ten minutes later, Razov set up Jerzy Podbrozny, sending a through ball for Podbrozny, who netted it on the first touch for a 2-1 lead. In the 81st minute, Razov added insurance, beating the offside trap, taking a long pass from Lubos Kubik for a clear run at goal.

"We were OK in the first half and they came out flying," Razov said. "We let up a goal on one of their counter attacks. In the second half we opened it up. Josh and I work well together, and we did good things tonight. After Wolff got in, we spread their defense out, got behind them, and put a lot of pressure on them. When those things started happening we started scoring goals."

Chicago Fire 3, San Jose Clash 1

Lineups: San Jose - David Kramer, John Doyle, Joey Martinez, Jamie Clark, Wade Barrett, Braeden Cloutier, Carlos Farias (Dario Brose 58), Scott Bower (Richard Mulrooney 84), Eddie Lewis, Jeff Baicher (Raul Diaz Arce 58), Ronald Cerritos; Chicago Fire - Zach Thornton, Francis Okaroh, C.J. Brown, Lubos Kubik, Diego Gutierrez, Chris Armas, Jesse Marsch, Jerzy Podbrozny (Manuel Lagos 88), Peter Nowak, Ante Razov, Frank Klopas (Josh Wolff 52).

San Jose - Baicher (Bower, Doyle) 32;
Chicago - Razov (Wolff, Armas) 58;
Chicago - Podbrozny (Razov) 68;
Chicago - Razov (Kubik) 81.

Total shots: San Jose 8 (Baicher 2, Lewis 2, Barrett 2), Chicago 17 (Razov 4). Shots on goal: San Jose 4 (four players with 1), Chicago 11 (Razov 3). Saves: San Jose - Kramer 8; Chicago - Thornton 2. Fouls: San Jose 20 (Barrett 5), Chicago 12 (Brown 4). Offside: San Jose 2, Chicago 2. Corner kicks: San Jose 2, Chicago 2. Yellow card cautions: San Jose - Cloutier 43, Barrett 60; Chicago - Brown 19, Kubik 38. Possession percentage: San Jose 44%, Chicago 56%.

Referee: Paul Tamberino. Referee's assistants: Tom Bobadilla, Roger Itaya. Attendance: 15,238 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Weather: Cloudy, cold.

D.C. United 5, Tampa Bay Mutiny 2

TAMPA, Fla. -- D.C. United dominated play in the first half, but could not score. That problem did not continue after intermission.

Roy Lassiter scored two goals and an assist as part of Unitedís second-half explosion in a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Mutiny before 16,872 in the first soccer match at Raymond James Stadium.

Lassiter, who was traded from Tampa Bay to D.C. in 1998, scored in the 66th minute on a cross from Ben Olsen and netted his second goal on a breakaway in the 86th minute in the Major League Soccer opener for both teams.

Olsen, who created havoc on the right flank throughout the match, also set up a goal in the 54th minute by dribbling past Mutiny defender R.T. Moore into the penalty area and crossing to a wide-open Jaime Moreno.

United playmaker Marco Etcheverry also recorded a pair of assists for D.C., setting up Carlos Llamosa for a header on a corner kick to open the scoring in the 50th minute, the first goal in Llamosa's career.

Midfielder Richie Williams also provided a goal and an assist for the defending Eastern Conference champions, and new D.C. coach Thomas Rongen, who earned Coach of the Year honors in Tampa Bay in 1996, earned his first victory in his debut for his new club.

The Mutiny was forced to play with 10 men after goalkeeper Scott Garlick received a red card for taking down Lassiter on a breakaway

"Our first goal gave us momentum, but it was the expulsion of their keeper that seemed to take a lot out of them, and we took advantage," Moreno said.

Bolivian forward Jefferson Gottardi struck twice in his MLS debut, but neither tally brought the Mutiny closer than two goals behind.

"I'm disappointed and angry that we didn't come out and play our best," Mutiny coach Tim Hankinson said. "It's atrocious to think we wait 60 days for our most exciting day and don't give our best effort."

D.C. United 5, Tampa Bay Mutiny 2

Lineups: Tampa Bay - Scott Garlick, R.T. Moore, Jan Eriksson, Chad McCarty, Sam George Guillermo Jara 67), Dominic Kinnear, Paul Dougherty (Andy Kirk 63), Mauricio Ramos, (Eric Quill 82), Steve Ralston, Jefferson Gottardi, Alejandro Sequeira (Musa Shannon 68); D.C. United - Tom Presthus, Diego Sonora, Carlos Llamosa (Carey Talley 83), Eddie Pope, Jeff Agoos, Marco Etcheverry, Richie Williams, Ben Olsen, Brian Kamler, Roy Lassiter, Jaime Moreno (A.J. Wood 83).

D.C. United - Llamosa (Etcheverry) 50;
D.C. United - Moreno (Olsen, Lassiter) 54;
D.C. United - Lassiter (Olsen, Etcheverry) 66;
Tampa Bay - Gottardi (Ralston, Kinnear) 67;
D.C. United - Williams (Kamler) 81;
D.C. United - Lassiter (Williams) 86;
Tampa Bay - Gottardi (Quill, Jara) 88.

Total shots: Tampa Bay 7 (Ramos 3), D.C. United 23 (Lassiter 5, Etcheverry 5). Shots on goal: Tampa Bay - 4 (Ramos 2, Gottardi 2), D.C. 10 (Lassiter 3). Saves: Tampa Bay - Garlick 4; D.C. United - Presthus 2. Fouls: Tampa Bay 16 (Kinnear 3), D.C. United 14 (Williams 5). Offside: Tampa Bay 4, D.C. United 3. Corner kicks: Tampa Bay 4, D.C. United 13. Yellow card cautions: Tampa Bay - Garlick 62; D.C. United - Moreno 6, Sonora 34, Etcheverry 43. Red card ejection: Tampa Bay - Garlick 62. Possession percentage: Tampa Bay 45%, D.C. United 55%.

Referee: Brian Hall. Referee's assistants: Roger Sill, Nathan Clement. Attendance: 16,872 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Weather: Clear, 78 degrees.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 1 (Los Angeles wins shootout 3-1)

PASADENA, Calif. -- Clint Mathis scored once in regulation and once in the shootout for the Los Angeles Galaxy, which recorded a 3-1 victory in the tiebreaker after playing a 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids before 17,343 chilly fans at the Rose Bowl.

Mathis opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Welton began the play by dribbling into the penalty area, and Peter Vermes' attempted clearance found its way to the foot of Mathis. The second-year midfielder from the University of South Carolina ripped a shot into the back of the net to put the Rapids in a 1-0 hole.

Colorado responded 21 minutes later with a goal by midfielder Ross Paule. Joey DiGiamarino sent a cross to Jorge Dely Valdes in the penalty area. The Rapids' new Panamanian striker won the header and found Paule for his one-time shot.

After a scoreless second half, the Galaxy used goals by Welton, Mathis and Daniel Hernandez to prevail 3-1 in the shootout. David Vaudreuil converted the lone shootout goal for the Rapids after Wolde Harris, DiGiamarino and Paul Bravo missed on Colorado's first three attempts.

Midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos entered the game in the 53rd minute for the Galaxy. Cienfuegos, who ranks fourth all-time in MLS with 39 career assists, finalized contract negotiations with MLS Saturday morning after a lengthy preseason holdout.

"I spent a pleasant morning with him today, with a good discussion," MLS commissioner Doug Logan said of negotiations with Cienfuegos. "I respect him as a person and a professional, but also as a pioneer for MLS. We hope he will stay as a member of the MLS family until the end of his career. We will continue talking, but as of today, we are content where we are right now."

Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 1

Lineups: Los Angeles - Kevin Hartman, Robin Fraser (Gabe Eastman 87), Paul Caligiuri, Greg Vanney, Zak Ibsen (Lawrence Lozzano 81), Daniel Hernandez, Danny Pena, Joe Franchino (Mauricio Cienfuegos 53), Clint Mathis, Cobi Jones, Welton; Colorado -Marcus Hahnemann, Marcelo Balboa, Peter Vermes, David Vaudreuil, Jason Bent, Matt McKeon, Anders Limpar, Ross Paule, Joey DiGiamarino, Jorge Dely Valdes, Paul Bravo (Wolde Harris 71).

Los Angeles - Mathis (Welton, Franchino) 14;
D.C. United - Colorado - Paule (Dely Valdes, DiGiamarino) 34.

Shootout scoring:
Colorado - Harris (saved), DiGiamarino (wide left), Vermes (wide right), Vaudreuil (goal);
Los Angeles - Welton (goal), Caligiuri (wide left), Mathis (goal), Hernandez (goal).

Total shots: Los Angeles 13 (Jones 3, Vanney 3), Colorado 10 (Paule 3). Shots on goal: Los Angeles 6 (Jone 3). Saves: Los Angeles - Hartman 2; Colorado Hahnemann 5. Fouls: Los Angeles 14 (Welton 3, Hernandez 3, Mathis 3), Colorado 15 (Bravo 4, McKeon 4). Offside: Los Angeles 4, Colorado 4. Corner kicks: Los Angeles 4. Colorado 7. Yellow card cautions: Los Angeles - Ibsen 40, Welton 65, Mathis 74, Pena 76, Cienfuegos 78; Colorado - McKeon 7, Bent 72. Possession percentage: Los Angeles 50%, Colorado 50%.

Referee: Rich Grady. Referee's assistants: Jorge Reyes, George Vergara. Attendance: 17,343 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Weather: 57 degrees, cold.

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