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reprint of COLORADO RAPIDS NEWS RELEASE -- byline Ben Grossman



Colorado Takes Advantage Of Chicago Salary-Cap Problems To Swoop For Promising Young Striker

DENVER (Monday, April 10, 2000) - The Colorado Rapids today acquired striker Junior Agogo from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a 2001 third-round draft pick. Agogo (uh-GO-GO), 20, had joined the Fire in February from Sheffield Wednesday of the English Premier League. A British citizen who was born in Ghana, he will fill Colorado's fourth foreign slot.

Despite a stellar preseason in which he was a "sensation," according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Agogo became expendable due to Chicago's salary cap issues, which resulted from the allocation of Bulgarian superstar Hristo Stoichkov, as well as the recent acquisition of goalkeeper Chris Snitko.

Agogo scored three goals and added two assists in the preseason, then only started in one game during the regular season following the addition of the legendary forward Stoichkov.

"We just found ourselves in a very fortunate situation," said Rapids general manager Dan Counce. "Chicago brought in Stoichkov late, and because of the caliber of player he is, that threw their whole salary cap out of whack and they had to do something. Junior is a player we've had our eye on for a while, and we are very excited that circumstances led to him becoming a member of our team."

Born August 1, 1979 in Ghana, Agogo moved to England at the age of ten. He played for a club team in North London and was spotted by former Owls youth coach Ricky Hill and then was signed by Sheffield Wednesday in 1995. The 6-0 180 lb. striker made his Premiership debut one week after his 18th birthday, coming on as a sub at St. James Park during a 2-1 Wednesday defeat at Newcastle United on opening day of the 1997-98 season

Agogo spent the 95-96 campaign with Wednesday's youth team, racking-up 18 goals. The next year, he returned to the youth squad and scored 19 goals. During the 1997-98 season, Agogo graduated to Wednesday's reserve team and scored 20 goals. He finally made the jump to the first team, and appeared in 7 Premier League fixtures during the 1998-99 football season, scoring one goal. During the 1999 season he was loaned out to several English clubs appearing with Oldham (3 goals in 5 games), Chester City (7 goals in 9 games) and with Chesterfield and Lincoln City. He was again part of Sheffield Wednesday's squad during the current, 1999-2000, season.

"I am thrilled to add Junior to our team," said Rapids coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick. "His speed, athleticism and work ethic caught everyone's eye during preseason, and we are very lucky that the situation in Chicago helped us get a guy that can make an immediate impact."


The Rapids today subsequently waived rookie forward Jeff DiMaria. With the addition of Agogo, Colorado was forced to release one player to remain at the 20-player roster limit. DiMaria, a third-round draft pick in the 2000 MLS draft, appeared in all four games this season, starting twice. "We are very disappointed to have to let Jeff go," said Myernick. "He is a very promising forward, and one I fully expect to see back in MLS."


Position:			Forward
Height:				6'0" (1.83 m)
Weight:				180 lbs. (80 kg)
Born:				August 1, 1979 
Hometown:			Accra, Ghana 
Citizenship:			England
Last Club:			Chicago Fire
How Acquired:           Via trade from the Chicago Fire (4-10-00) for a 2001
third-round draft pick  

2000 MLS Season: Stellar pre-season saw the forward record three goals and two assists...Started one game for the Fire, playing 57 minutes against the Kansas City Wizards on March 25.

Professional Outdoor Career: Joined England's Sheffield Wednesday in 1995...In 1999, was loaned to English clubs Oldham, Chester City, Chesterfield and Lincoln City...Made his professional debut with Sheffield Wednesday on opening day of the team's 1997-98 campaign, coming on as a sub in the team's 2-1 loss at Newcastle United...1999: Was loaned to Oldham, where he scored three goals in five matches...Was also loaned to Chester City (7 goals in 9 games), Chesterfield and Lincoln City...1998-99: Appeared in seven games with Sheffield Wednesday, scoring one goal...1997-98: As a member of Wednesday's reserve team, registered a total of 20 goals...1996-97: In his second year with Sheffield Wednesday's youth team, tallied 19 goals...1995-96: Began his career with Sheffield Wednesday with the club's youth team, registering 18 goals in his first year with the club.

Personal: Hobbies include playing table tennis and watching films of his favorite actors Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino...Also enjoys watching basketball games...Favorite food is West Indian...Is fluent in two African dialects, Ga and Fant...Considers his strength and speed the strongest part of his game...Relaxes by listening to R&B music...Moved to England at the age of 10...Has one sister, Emily...Mom lives in North Carolina...Full name is Manuel Agogo, named after his father.

2000 MLS Stats:

POS   PLAYER                 GP GS    MIN   G    A  PTS  SHT  SOG   FC   FS	OF   CK   C   E   CP

FWD   Junior Agogo            1  1     57   0    0    0    1    0    4    1	0    0   1   0    4

Sheffield Wednesday Stats:
Year		Club		Team		GP	G	A	PTS
1995-96	Sheffield Wednesday	Youth Team	--	18	--	--
1996-97	Sheffield Wednesday	Youth Team	--	19	--	--
1997-98	Sheffield Wednesday	Reserve Team	--	20	--	--
1998-99	Sheffield Wednesday	First Team	7	1	--	--
1999-00	Sheffield Wednesday	First Team	--	--	--	--

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