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MetroStars Changes Upset Matthaeus

January 14, 2000

MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ Lothar Matthaeus is angry changes made by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, raising doubt he will join the team as scheduled this spring.

Matthaeus, 38, accused the MetroStars of ``breach of contract″ by hiring Nick Sakiewicz on Wednesday to replace Charlie Stillitano as general manager.

``That’s not the way. I won’t put up with that. Under these conditions, I have no motivation at all,″ Matthaeus said Friday after practicing with his current team, Bayern Munich. ``They can’t take me to New York in handcuffs.″

Matthaeus, voted Germany’s player of the year by Bundesliga players on Friday, originally was to join the MetroStars in January, then postponed his departure until March.

He criticized the MetroStars for not consulting him when they fired coach Bora Milutinovic in October. Milutinovic and Stillitano were the two men who persuaded Matthaeus to move to the MetroStars.

``My contact people both have been fired. Now, I am here without even a telephone number I can call,″ Matthaeus said.

Matthaeus, who has played a record 143 games for Germany’s national team, said the MetroStars management would have to make a great effort to repair the damage and restore his confidence.

``I’ve been deceived and misled. They can do with others, but not with me,″ Matthaeus said. ``If it’s true what the MetroStars did to Charlie, then is the chapter New York definitely closed for me. But first I have to double-check.″

Octavio Zambrano, who replaced Milutinovic as coach, had promised to come to Munich before Christmas to talk to him, Matthaeus said, but he still hasn’t heard from the coach.

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