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Matthaeus Meets With Club Officials

July 14, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ German star Lothar Matthaeus met Thursday with New York-New Jersey MetroStars general manager Nick Sakiewicz and coach Octavio Zambrano to discuss his future with the team.

The meeting, which also included the player’s agent, Brian Eylert, came a day after Matthaeus returned from a nine-day trip to Europe. Matthaeus received permission from the club for the trip to treat his injured back, but also ended up on the cover of the German tabloid Bild in a photo showing him lounging on the beach in St. Tropez, France, with his girlfriend, Maren Mueller-Wohlfahrt.

``A good deal of the meeting dealt with getting an understanding of the injury,″ Sakiewicz said. ``Part of it was the injury, part of it were the circumstances that happened in Germany. A lot of issues were discussed, including his entire stay in MLS. I wouldn’t say 90 percent of it dealt with the picture in Bild.″

But some of it did, adding another chapter to Matthaeus’ short, but controversial tenure with the Major League Soccer club.

Sakiewicz said Matthaeus won’t make the trip to Boston for Saturday’s game against New England and that it’s possible the MetroStars would place the 39-year-old German on injured reserve.

``I have no comment on his release,″ Sakiewicz said. ``Guys like Lothar have tons of options. But nothing was discussed to that effect.″

Sakiewicz said Matthaeus is suffering from essentially a slipped disc in his back, which he injured June 28 against San Jose.

The match was Matthaeus’ first for the MetroStars in six weeks after he left the team following a May 13 game to join the German national side for the European Championship. The MetroStars were 3-6-0 when Matthaeus left, but went on to win seven of their next nine without him to climb atop the MLS’ Eastern Conference.

Sakiewicz said the two sides will meet again by next Wednesday, but no time has been set.

``This is not a major issue for us,″ Sakiewicz said.