Former D.C. United stars Marco Etcheverry, John Harkes and Raul Diaz Arce, as well as United Coach Peter Nowak, have committed to play in a legends match prior to the MLS All-Star Game on July 31 at RFK Stadium. An official announcement will be made today.
The 50-minute game will feature veterans of the 1994 U.S. World Cup team, including Harkes, playing against a squad of former MLS international players.
Most of the former U.S. World Cup players will participate, including goalkeeper Tony Meola, midfielder Tab Ramos and forward Eric Wynalda.
However, United midfielder Earnie Stewart, who scored the clinching goal in the 2-1 upset of Colombia in 1994, declined because of prior commitments. English-based players Brad Friedel and Claudio Reyna are unavailable because of club commitments.
Bora Milutinovic, who guided the Americans to the second round of the tournament, has agreed to coach the U.S. squad.
Milutinovic is the only man to coach five different nations in World Cup history. He recently quit as Honduras's coach amid displeasure about the team's 2006 World Cup qualifying preparations.
Current U.S. coach Bruce Arena will oversee the world team, which will include Etcheverry, Diaz Arce, Nowak, Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos, Colombian midfielder Carlos Valderrama, Salvadoran midfielder Mauricio Cienfuegos and several others.
Former D.C. and Chicago player Hristo Stoitchkov had committed to play for the world squad, but after being named head coach of the Bulgarian national team yesterday, it appears unlikely he'll be available on all-star weekend.
"Major League Soccer is a legacy of the 1994 World Cup," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "Our July 31 event will allow us to pay tribute to the landmark achievements for the sport during the last 10 years."
-- Steven Goff