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Jones is back in Galaxy fold after inking three-year contract.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Saturday, March 17, 2001) -- Midfielder Cobi Jones, who scored the Los Angeles Galaxy’s first goal on April 13, 1996 and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, finally signed a new three-year contract with Major League Soccer to remain with the team.

The announcement was made today by coach and vice president of soccer operations Sigi Schmid here at MLS spring training.

"It would have to be a situation that was worth my while," Jones said. "I signed it, so obviously I'm happy with it. . . It's a contract that took a lot of time to work through. I think I got what I wanted."

Jones, 30, is joined by midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos and defenders Robin Fraser and Greg Vanney as players remiaining with the Galaxy since the league’s 1996 inaugural season.

"We are pleased that one of the original members of the Galaxy will have an opportunity to build on his legacy with this franchise," said Schmid, who coached Jones as a collegian at UCLA (1988-91). "Cobi's international experience will be a big plus for us at the FIFA Club World Championship this summer and if he has the kind of season he is capable of, our chances of returning to MLS Cup are enhanced dramatically."

The club's leading scorer each of the last three seasons, Jones, a native of nearby Westlake Village, is the franchise's all-time leader in points (136) and goals (48). He is also second with 40 assists, and third with both 131 games played and 129 games started.

Jones and Tampa Bay midfielder Carlos Valderrama are the only two players to participate in all five MLS All-Star Games and Jones established a record with four assists in the 2000 contest in Columbus. He was named to the MLS "Best 11" squad in 1998 after finishing second in the league in scoring with 19 goals and 51 points. His eight selections as "Player of the Week" are a record.

"It's good to move on and move forward," said Jones who flew to Florida last night to rejoin his teammates here.

Jones has been part of the U.S. national-team program since 1992, playing in that year's Summer Olympics, before participating in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup. He is the national team's all-time leader in appearances (138) and assists (21) and ranks third with 49 points and is tied for fourth with 14 goals.

"I am happy that everything came together for me to continue my career with the Galaxy," Jones said. "Southern California is my home and I'm looking forward to being a part of the (world club championship) excitement in Spain this summer and helping this franchise get another chance to win the MLS title."

After Jones’ contract expired January 1, he went to England and had a trial with Ipswich Town, but he was not offered a contract. He returned in time to join the United States for a World Cup qualifier against Mexico February 28 and a friendly against Brazil three days later.

According to the Los Angeles Times Jones’s new deal has a no-trade clause that assures he will be with the Galaxy for the next three seasons. Additionally, there is a provision that allows him to play for a foreign club in the MLS offseason should he, the league and the outside team come to an agreement. His salary was not disclosed.

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