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COLORADO RAPIDS SIGN A-LEAGUE'S HOTTEST "DISCOVERY" WOLDE HARRIS

1996 MVP, Scoring Champion and Rookie of the Year to stay in Colorado

DENVER (February 13, 1997) -- After a record-setting season with the A-League's Colorado Foxes, topped off by a laundry list of honors including league Most Valuable Player, Jamaican international Wolde Harris will return to Colorado for his second professional season, this time with Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.

"There is no question that the Rapids have now signed the A-League's top two players from the '96 season -- Marcus Hahnemann and Wolde Harris," said Rapids General Manager Dan Counce. "Wolde's pedigree speaks for itself, and we are lucky to have the relationship we do with the Foxes, allowing us to move a player of his caliber into the division one ranks."

Major League Soccer and the A-League reached an agreement last week that will allow the A-League's top players an opportunity to play at the next level. This agreement was a huge stride in the relationship between Denver's Division I team Rapids and the Division II Foxes, who will now serve as the Rapids affiliate farm team.

"This is a great first step in the two league's working together," said Foxes President Rich Karlis. "This type of relationship is unprecedented in American soccer. It puts the professional system on the same page and affords us the opportunity to develop talent and allow great players like Wolde to play at the highest level in MLS."

Harris, who led the 1996 A-League with 17 goals and eight assists (42 points), earned Most Valuable Player honors in his first professional season and was the A-League's scoring champion. In addition, the 1996 Rookie of the Year was the only player on the Foxes roster to play in all 27 of the club's matches, starting 26. Born and raised in Jamaica, Harris has suited up for his country eight times, and was a contributor to the Jamaican National Team's quarterfinal CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches last year.

"It is a thrill to be able to return to Colorado with the Rapids," said Harris. "I had a great season here last year, and look forward to a new challenge, playing with some of soccer's greatest stars. The level in MLS is a whole new game, and I am anxious to move forward under coach Myernick's direction and continue to make an impact."

Harris finished his carrer at ACC powerhouse Clemson University as the shool's all-time leading scorer, with 76 goals and 18 assists. Harris also finished as the Atlantic Coast Conference's second all-time scorer, and is only the second player in ACC history to score 20 or more goals in three consecutive seasons (1993, '94, '95). The 5-footf-10, 190-pound forward was named All-American by both Soccer News and Soccer America in his senior year with the Tigers.

Harris will finish out the pre-season public relations tour with the Rapids in Colorado for the next week, and then head south to Guadalajara where the team will begin training camp through March 6, before heading to Orlando March 6-18.


WOLDE HARRIS

Position: Forward
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190
Birthdate: January 26, 1974
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
College: Clemson
Professional Experience: Colorado Foxes, 1996 (A-League)
Jamaican National Team, 1996-present (8 appearances)

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