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Goalkeeper Brown gets hurt again, is dropped from roster; replacement must be in place Friday.

Adin Brown
Adin Brown
(Tuesday, August 29, 2000) -- Adin Brown, the projected starter in goal for the United States menís Olympic team, has been scratched from the roster after he suffered strained quadriceps and torn hip flexor injuries training last week with the Colorado Rapids, his Major League Soccer club.

"I spoke with Clive (Charles, Olympic coach ) and Mooch (assistant coach Glenn Myernick) yesterday on the phone and found out the decision was final," Brown said. "Obviously I was disappointed, but I definitely agree with the decision. You can not take an injured player to a competition as big as the Olympics. "It's been a very tough year as far as injuries, and this just topped it off. I just hope I can learn from the experience and that it will make me a better player down the road.

"It will be tough to have to stay behind, especially after being with the group for three years. But I'll be watching and my heart will be with them, and hopefully they can have a great performance and bring back a medal."

A decision on a replacement will be withheld pending a mid-week medical evaluation of Chicago Fire midfielder Chris Armas, one of three exception to the under-23 age limit, who is recovering from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Brad Friedel
Brad Friedel
Should Armas be unable to play in the Olympics, there is a strong possibility that goalkeeper Brad Friedel, the full national teamís No. 2 keeper who is under contract to Liverpool in Englandís Premier League, would be called in. Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine, a long-time member of the under-23s would then replace Armas.

If Armas stays, then Andy Kirk probably will be called in as a third keeper behind Tim Howard of the MetroStars and Matt Napoleon of the Columbus Crew.

World governing body FIFA requires the Olympic rosters to be made final on Friday. "I'm very disappointed that Adin won't be making the trip with us," Charles said. "He was a very important part of this team, but we must move ahead and think about a replacement over the next few days."

After having successful arthroscopic surgery to clean up his right meniscus on June 30, Brown returned to game action on July 26 only to strain the quadriceps muscle in his left leg chasing down a ball in just the fifth minute of an exhibition versus the amateur Colorado Comets. His fitness was further damaged when he tore his right hip flexor in a training session last Wednesday

"Until the most recent injury, I had been starting to feel pretty good again and training hard," Brown said. "I was really hoping to get back with the Rapids and be ready for the Olympics, but when I had the setback last week, I pretty much realized the Olympics were not going to happen for me.

"I think it's the dream of many young kids to play in the Olympics, and to be that close and then have it taken away from you is tough, there's no way of sugar-coating it. I just need to keep working hard and maybe by the next Olympics, I can put my self in position to be chosen as an over-age player and still be able to fulfill that dream."

Over the last year, the 6-foot-3 Brown entrenched himself as the U-23 starting goalkeeper. The Pleasant Hills, Calif. native posted shutouts in two crucial games of the CONCACAF 2000 Olympic qualifying tournament in April and had a 0.40 goals against average in six overall matches in 2000.

The former William & Mary All-American started 10 of 17 U-23 games in 1999 and helped the U.S. capture a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, last summer.

Brown posted a 4-7-1 record and a 2.04 goals-against average for Colorado in what began as a promising rookie campaign before injuries put a premature end to his season.

"It's definitely frustrating, you don't know how many years you have as a player, but hopefully I'll have a long career and plenty of good experiences ahead of me," Brown said. "Hey, I just feel lucky to be a professional soccer player. I get paid to play soccer every day, how tough is that? Reminding myself of that helps me keep things in perspective and get over the disappointment."

In womenís news, defender Michelle French, an alternate, was elevated to the 18-player U.S. Olympic roster to replace midfielder Michelle Akers, who retired from international play on Thursday.

Midfielder Aly Wagner was named to take Frenchís place among the alternates.

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