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RAPIDS TRADE WEGERLE TO D.C. UNITED FOR 1996 MLS ALL-STAR STRIKER STEVE RAMMEL

DENVER (Thursday, July 3, 1997) -- The Colorado Rapids, continuing their makeover in the hopes of reaching MLS Cup '97, announced Wednesday the trade of veteran forward Roy Wegerle, the Rapids first-ever player to D.C. United for explosive striker and 1996 MLS All-Star Steve Rammel.

The trade was as mutually beneficial for both clubs. Wegerle, 33, brings his wealth of experience and outstanding finesse on the ball to a D.C. United club that leads the Eastern Conference at 11-4 (29 points) and appears on track to defend its MLS Cup title. The Rapids, meanwhile, are a vastly improved team from last season and are in search of more goals and speed from the forward/striker position. The Rapids have scored 26 goals this season, with only five of them coming from the team's forwards of Wolde Harris (2), Shaun Bartlett (1) and Wegerle (2).

Rammel, 29, a speedy and scrappy forward joins a Rapids club that is 8-9 (22 points) and is challenging Kansas City, 11-5 (25 points), for the lead in the Western Conference. There are now 13 new players for the Rapids, seven in starting roles for the team. Rapids remaing from last year's team are defenders Marcelo Balboa, Brain Bates, Steve Trittschuh and Matt Kmosko, midfielders, Chris and Sean Henderson and forward Bartlett.

"We have said all along that we are committed to bringing a winning and entertaining team to the great sports fans of Colorado," said Rapids General Manager Dan Counce. "The addition of Steve Rammel adds even more strength to our offensive attack. I think our fans will be very pleased with this addition."

"As we continue to try to improve our team in the short term, meaning this season, and in the long term, we feel Steve Rammel brings a variety of qualities to the Rapids," said Rapids coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick. "One quality being he is a proven goal scorer at every level he's plaved at; he's got experience being on a championship team and making a major contribution; he's proven he can score goals of every kind whether it's a restart or getting to the near post; and he's a positive professional addition for our team both on and off the field."

Rammel, signed by D.C. on May 3, 1996, went on to play 26 games for United last season, scoring 14 goals and collecting four assists to finish eighth in MLS scoring with 32 points. Brought up from the USISL Washington Mustangs, Rammel proved to be the league's biggest surprise, being named to the mid-season All-Star team and leading the league with six game-winning goals. Rammel came on in the second half of the 1996 All-Star game, adding an assist in the Eastern Conference's 3-2 win over the West.

This season, playing behind D.C.'s potent "magic triangle" of midfielder Marco Etcheverry and forwards Raul Diaz Arce and Jaime Moreno, who combined have 19 goals and 13 assists on the year, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Rammel has one goal and one assist in 11 games played (nine started).

Before professional stints with two German clubs (Tus Celle, 1992-93, and S.C. Norderstedt, 1991-92) and two American clubs (Penn-Jersey Spirit of the APSL, 1991 and the Mustangs before joining D.C.), Ranunel played collegiately at Rutgers and the University of Connecticut. He scored 44 goals in 86 games during his four collegiate years, capped off in 1991 with being a runner-up for the Hermann Trophy and winning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

He scored 90 goals during his prep career. being named 1985 New Jersey Player of the Year and 1985 Parade Magazine Player of the Year.

Wegerle battled through injuries most of last season, starting 16 of the Rapids' 32 games. He finished the season with two goals and seven assists and his three game-winning assists tied him with four others as second in MLS among game-winning assist leaders.

Wegerle has 23 caps with the US National Team since 1997, scoring three goals. Born in South Africa, Wegerle played collegiately for the University of South Florida in Tampa Bay and began his professional career as the first player selected in the 1984 NASL draft by the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He played for five clubs over a 10-year span in England. He had his best season in 1990-91 when he was third in the English Premier League in scoring with 19 goals for Queens Park Rangers.

Wegerle has two goals and one assist in 14 games played (13 started) for the Rapids this season.


STEVE RAMMEL

Position:               Forward
Height:                 5-9
Weight:                 160 pounds
Born:                   April 20, 1968
Hometown:               Woodbury, N.J.
Citizenship:            U.S.
College:                Rutgers University
Professional Experience:
    Penn-Jersey Spirit of the APSL, 1991.  Germany's S.C. 
    Norderstedt, 1991-92, and Tus Celle, 1992-93...Washington 
    Mustangs.  1996...D.C. United, 1996.

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