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Kirovski signs to play with Sporting Lisbon.

Jovan Kirovski
Jovan Kirovski
(Monday, July 10, 2000) -- Word out of Portugal is that American midfielder Jovan Kirovski has signed a contract with Sporting Lisbon, the defending 1 Liga champion.

Sporting's web site lists Kirovski as among three recent non-Portuguese signings. Also signed were Phil Babb and Alan Mahon.

Kirovski had said he was looking to play in England next season. But if he can make the Sporting roster, he will be in line for Champions League play and the considerable bonuses that go with it.

At Sporting, Kirovski will trying to win a place on a very solid team led by Danish international goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. Sporting also has announced the signing of Portuguese international Joao Pinto from Benfica. He will be paid $1.5 million next season.

In Germany, United States midfielder Landon Donovan is being given a chance of making the star-studded Bayer Leverkusen's full squad for the coming season. The German Bundesliga runnerup resumed training last week and Donovan is with the full team.

There had been talk of Leverkusen loaning him out to a second division team, which is something of the normal progression for young players in Germany. But Leverkusen coach Christoph Daum has told Donovan he will not be loaned out this year. Instead, he will train regularly with the full squad and get an opportunity to dress for matches, and play, if he shows enough promise in training each week.

Leverkusen has a crowded schedule with Champions League matches plus regular Bundesliga tests and German Cup matches. Donovan could see action early in the various cup competitions.

In the meantime, it does not appear that American midfielder Frankie Hejduk is headed from Leverkusen to Frankfurt as rumored. Frankfurt solved its right winger problem by picking up Austrian international Gerd Wimmer from Rapid Wien.

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