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MetroStars Keep Coach Milutinovic

November 3, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ever mysterious, Bora Milutinovic is staying on as coach of the New York-New Jersey MetroStars.

Milutinovic, who took over with one game left in the regular season, is the team’s fifth coach in three seasons. And even though the team went 15-17, he wouldn’t say what changes he intends to make.

``I respect all our players,″ he said.

Milutinovic, the only man to coach four teams into the second round of the World Cup, has known several MetroStars players _ Tab Ramos, Alexi Lalas, Mike Sorber, Tony Meola _ from his days as coach of the U.S. national team from 1991-1995.

``He is a teacher first and foremost,″ MetroStars general manager Charlie Stillitano said. ``He loves to teach the kids. He loves to teach our American players as well as our foreign players.″

After Milutinovic replaced Alfonso Mondelo, the MetroStars finished the regular season with a win over New England, then lost two straight to Columbus in the playoffs.

``I need to do my way. I need to be Bora,″ Milutinovic said.

Despite saying he was excited about several of the young players, he wouldn’t give details.

``I think Bora is being a bit diplomatic,″ Stillitano said. ``We have to make changes.″

Milutinovic has a reputation for turning around teams quickly and for overly defensive tactics.

``Winning solves all criticism,″ Stillitano said. ``The most constant criticism I have heard from our fans is that we haven’t been consistent in three years. They want a coach to stick around and develop some players.″

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