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reprint of COLORADO RAPIDS NEWS RELEASE -- byline Andy Engel



DENVER (Thursday, June 13, 2002) - Colorado Rapids midfielder Imad Baba has announced his retirement from Major League Soccer, it was confirmed today by general manager Dan Counce. Baba's retirement is effective immediately, leaving the Rapids with only 17 senior roster players, one fewer than the league limit of 18.

"I enjoyed playing with the Rapids and being a part of Major League Soccer," Baba said from his home in Texas on Wednesday. "The Rapids team this season has one of the best chemistries of any team I've ever played on, and I wish them the best of luck the remainder of the season."

The Rapids acquired Baba, 28, in a March 2001 trade with the New England Revolution in exchange for Matt Okoh. A seven-year veteran of Major League Soccer, Baba was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team that participated in the Atlanta Games. He made 32 total appearances with the Rapids and 134 in his MLS career, amassing 24 goals and 25 assists. The former Clemson University standout had appeared in 10 of Colorado's first 11 games this season.

"The Colorado fans, the facilities at the new INVESCO Field, and everybody at the Anschutz Entertainment Group are all top class, but I need to do what is best for my wife and child. Soccer is still in my heart, and I hope to stay close to the game, but I needed to make this hard decision," Baba continued.

Baba has returned home to his native Texas with his wife Suzy and their infant son, Gian, where he will work with his brother in the family business.

"We'd like to thank Imad for his service to the club and wish him and his family well in their return to Texas," Counce said. "I'm sure he will find a way to remain close to the game and keep contributing to its development."

Transaction Line: Colorado Rapids (MLS) announce the retirement of midfielder Imad Baba.

Fourth of July Fireworks Still On at INVESCO

As you may be aware, the Governor of Colorado has announced a ban on fireworks in Colorado during the current drought emergency. Please be advised that this ban does not apply to professional shows. The Colorado Rapids annual fireworks extravaganza at INVESCO Field at Mile High falls into this category, which we have confirmed with the City/County of Denver and State of Colorado. This means that our display following the July 4 game against Chicago will go on as planned. For further information, please call the Rapids at 303-299-1599.

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