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McBride appears headed for England after season ends.

By Willy Calderon
and Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)

DEEPDALE, England (Wednesday, August 9, 2000) -- Columbus Crew forward Brian McBride is close to signing a deal in which his Major League Soccer team would loan him to Preston North End of England’s first division.

Brian McBride
Brian McBride has become an object of affection to Preston North End manager David Moyes.
"Nothing's official. We're definitely talking about it," McBride told Columbus, Ohio, media. "This is the first real, real offer I've had. They had wanted something more permanent but realized that's not possible."

The deal calls for McBride to play for Preston during the coming MLS offseason. But events at Preston could lead the club to make a permanent offer and pay MLS a transfer fee for McBride.

Preston, based in Deepdale, won the second division (third tier) title last season and was promoted to the first division for the first time in 20 years. Preston manager David Moyes has been spending money to try to avoid relegation back as has been predicted in some corners.

He has been attempting to sign former England under-21 national-team striker Richard Creswell, most recently with Sheffield Wednesday. The 22-year-old striker, who was also pursued by Bristol City, agreed to terms with Preston, but the deal has reportedly hit a snag when Creswell refused to leave Wednesday until it bought out the two years left on his contract. The delay is aggravating Moyes, so much so that he says he is now looking elsewhere, including Columbus.

If the loan deal goes through and McBride plays well, and if Preston can avoid relegation, a transfer offer to MLS could be in the offing.

Under the deal as it is now constituted, McBride would remain with the Crew through the remainder of this regular season and all postseason games, including the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. MLS Cup 2000 is set for October 15 and the Open Cup final is a week later, but Columbus is not favored to advance to either title match, making an earlier departure likely. McBride would return to the Crew in early March, about a month before the start of the 2001 MLS season.

McBride, 28, is the prototypical target player and is known for his prowess in the air. The United States national team veteran missed eight MLS games this season with a broken cheekbone after a midair collision and has been limited to four goals and four assists. In five seasons with the Crew, McBride has played in 95 games -- starting all but one – with 42 goals and 30 assists for 114 points. His MLS contract runs through the 2002 season.

Valderrama mulls coaching career

(Wednesday, August 9, 2000) – Tampa Bay Mutiny midfielder Carlos Valderrama, who last week decided against an international comeback at the age of 38, wrote on Monday he hopes one day to coach Colombia’s national team.

"My objective is to be coach of the Colombian team," he wrote in his weekly column for the Todogol Spanish-language web site. "I enjoy a challenge, but one cannot reach this post without adequate preparation and credentials. I have to prepare myself for this, I have to get myself qualified, and I'm going to do it when I stop playing."

Valderrama indicated his decision against making a run at the 2002 World Cup had to do with his displeasure with the defensive style of current coach Luis Garcia. "I believe that in these moments, the coach keeps his job thanks to the results he has obtained," Valderrama wrote. "This is dangerous because when the defeats begin, he will be under pressure to go and he won't have any justification for staying on."

Valderrama announced his international retirement after the 1998 World Cup, but briefly pondered a comeback. "I decided to retire because I though it was the right moment for a renovation of my country's football," he wrote.

Valderrama cited four players who might become his successor as Colombia’s playmaker: Neider Morantes, Geovany Hernandez, Arley Betancourt and Mayer Candelo. "Time will tell whether they are capable of assuming the responsibility," he wrote.

Limpar to miss rest of regular season

DENVER -- Colorado Rapids midfielder Anders Limpar is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season after an MRI revealed a tear in his left calf muscle. The Rapids hope to have their playmaker back for the playoffs should the team qualify.

Limpar, 34, was forced to leave Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over the San Jose Erathquakes after suffering a tear of his left gastrocnemius muscle in the first half.

"It's another disappointing, lengthy injury setback for us, especially considering how well Anders is playing right now," said Rapids coach Glenn Myernick. "But I'm confident that we have enough quality depth on this team to secure a good playoff position and then get Anders back to make a run at the championship."

Since joining the Rapids prior to the 1999 season, Limpar has been Colorado's best playmaker when healthy, but has consistently battled injury problems. He had played in 18 of Colorado's 25 games this season, recording one goal and nine assists. Five of those assists set up game-winning goals. He missed the seven games with seven games with left hamstring injuries.

He was absent for 11 consecutive matches in 1999 with a left quadriceps injury, appearing in just 18 of 32 games while recording two goals and six assists.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at Willy Calderon, an American living in Bristol, England, writes about soccer for various publications and netzines, and can be contacted at

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