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Galaxy's Lewis to represent USA in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament

January 30, 2004 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Los Angeles Galaxy News Release

CARSON, CA (Friday, January 30, 2004) - Los Angeles Galaxy defender Ricky Lewis is part of the 20-man roster named by U.S. Under-23 National Team Head Coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be played in Guadalajara, Mexico from February 2-12 and will send its two finalists to the Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004. Lewis is presently with Myernick's team for their final preparatory training camp in Guadalajara.

"We are extremely proud to see Ricky represent our country as we look to earn an Olympic berth," said L.A. Galaxy Vice President/General Manager Doug Hamilton. "The experience he gains in Guadalajara in a pressure-filled environment will only make him a better player when he returns to us for the 2004 MLS season."

The eight teams competing for continental bragging rights will be divided into two groups of four teams apiece, with the USA, Canada, Honduras and Panama fighting it out in Group A, and the hosts, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago battling for supremacy in Group B. The top two finishers in each group at the conclusion of the round-robin phase will qualify to the semifinals, with the winner of one group meeting the second-placed finisher in the other. The two finalists will book the two places available to CONCACAF in Athens.

A native of Spring, Texas, Lewis played in both matches for the USA in their first phase, round-robin qualifying series against Caribbean rivals St. Kitts & Nevis in November, 2003. The USA won the first match at Warner Park in Basseterre on November 15 by a 6-0 margin, before returning home four days later for the second leg, a 4-0 victory at The Maryland Soccerplex in Germantown, Maryland that gave them the series 10-0 on aggregate.

The Los Angeles Galaxy selected Lewis in the second round of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft (20th overall) from Clemson University. The rookie played in 13 regular season matches, started seven and played a total of 798 minutes for the Galaxy in 2003. The physical 21-year-old defender played four complete matches, including back-to-back overtime road performances against the Chicago Fire on October 4 and the Kansas City Wizards on October 11.

Los Angeles Galaxy tickets are now on sale for the 2004 season at The Home Depot Center. The club opens its ninth MLS season overall and second in the majestic stadium with a match against the New England Revolution at 7 pm (PT) on Saturday April 3, 2004. For more information or to purchase your 2004 Los Angeles Galaxy season tickets, please call toll-free 1-877-3GALAXY.

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