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Milutinovic steps down as coach of MetroStars.

SEACAUCUS, N.J. (Friday, October 29, 1999) -- Coach Bora Milutinovic has stepped down as coach of the MetroStars after coming to an mutual agreement with the New Jersey Major League Soccer club, vice president and general manager Charlie Stillitano announced today.

As the fifth coach in the MetroStars' four-year history, Milutinovic lead the MetroStars to a dismal 7-25 record, including a league-record 12-match losing streak.

"My only regret is that we were unable to meet the objectives that both the team and I had in mind when we started this project," said Milutinovic, 54, who has coached four different nations in the World Cups. "I wish the MetroStars organization, Stuart Subotnick, Charlie Stillitano, the players and great fans the very best in their goal of making the team successful."

Assistant coach Fernando Clavijo has been promoted interim head coach and will also be considered for the vacant coaching position.

"After numerous and lengthy discussions, Bora and I have concluded that this decision is in everyone's best interest," Stillitano said. "We are sad to see Bora leave, but wish him the very best in his future endeavors and thank him for his efforts this past season."

Clavijo will begin training the team on Monday when the players will assemble for daily off-season training sessions at Kean University in Union, N.J. The team will train through the remainder of 1999 with breaks for Thanksgiving and the year-end holidays.

Clavijo joined the MetroStars as an assistant coach April 21. Prior to the MetroStars, he served as an assistant coach for the MLS Project-40 select team in the A-League. He has also coached the Florida Bobcats of the indoor National Professional Soccer League and won an indoor championship as head coach of the Seattle Seadogs (Continental Indoor Soccer League) in 1997.

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