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MLS Fines Colombian Soccer Captain

July 28, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Miami Fusion midfielder Carlos Valderrama was fined a record $10,000 by Major League Soccer on Tuesday for refusing to train with his American club.

The 36-year-old midfielder refused to particpate in practice on Friday, hours after Argentine coach Cacho Cordoba was fired and replaced by Ivo Wortmann. He also failed to show up for Saturday morning’s training session and Wortmann did not take the disgruntled player to Boston for Sunday’s game against the New England Revolution.

The fine was double the previous largest fine issued by MLS, a $5,000 sanction to Tampa Bay goalkeeper Thomas Ravelli earlier this month.

Ravelli also was suspended six games for kicking a ball which struck referee Ruben Rodhas in the Mutiny’s 3-2 loss to New England on July 4.

Miami won Wortmann’s debut 2-1 against the Revolution. Wortmann was to meet with Valderrama later Tuesday to discuss his status for Miami’s home match Wednesday night against Columbus.

Valderrama, voted MVP of the last two MLS all-star games, is scheduled to start for the World team vs. the United States in this year’s contest on Sunday at Orlando, Fla.

The MLS’ 1996 season MVP and one of three finalists for the award last year, Valderrama had played in two league and one U.S. Open Cup matches since his return from the World Cup on July 18.

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