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Herrera To Play for Miami Fusion

January 8, 1998

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Marcelo ``Popeye″ Herrera, a veteran of the Argentine League, has signed a multiyear contract with Major League Soccer and will play for the expansion Miami Fusion.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who won the 1996 Intercontinental Cup with Velez Sarsfield, reportedly was to be transferred to perennial Argentine power Boca Juniors as late as last week but changed his mind and chose the MLS instead.

``I decided to come to the United States because I believe Major League Soccer is an emerging league,″ Herrera said. ``Though I’ll miss Argentina, I believe this new challenge will benefit my entire family.″

Herrera was a reserve for the Argentine national team during last summer’s America Cup but has never played in an international game. He’ll join the Fusion when it begins preseason training later this month.

``We feel Popeye will be an impact player in this league,″ Fusion vice president Leandro Stillitano said. ``He has masterful skills, leadership qualities and a championship mentality.″

One of two new teams in MLS this season, the Fusion begins the season against two-time defending champion Washington on March 15 at Fort Lauderdale.

Herrera began his career with Ginmasia Jujuy in 1987 and played there for three years before transferring to Gimnasia Salta. He remained there for four seasons before moving to Velez in 1994, where he won league titles in 1995 and 1996.

He returned to Gimnasia Jujuy in August last year and scored four goals in 18 games, bringing his career total to 54 goals in 12 years.

``He’s the type of player who will control the right side of the field,″ Fusion coach Cacho Cordoba said. ``He is very good at getting back defensively, but he also has the ability to score eight to 10 goals this season.″

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