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March 13, 2002 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York Red Bulls News Release

Team sends D.J. Countess, 2003 second-round pick to Burn

SECAUCUS, NJ (March 13, 2002) – The MetroStars today acquired talented midfielder and Jamaican national team member Winston Griffiths, along with a first-round pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, in exchange for goalkeeper D.J. Countess and the MetroStars’ second-round pick in the 2003 SuperDraft.

Griffiths, 23, trained with the MetroStars for two weeks during their preseason training camp in Bradenton, FL, but was acquired by the Burn in a special MLS lottery for his rights earlier this month. Griffiths is primarily a left-sided midfielder who has accumulated 25 international caps as a member of Jamaica’s national team, and has scored four goals for the “Reggae Boyz.”

He played for the Connecticut Wolves of the A-League during the 2001 season, ranking second on the team in scoring with 14 points (five goals, four assists) in 25 games. He also previously starred at the University of Rhode Island, leading the team to the 1999 Atlantic-10 Conference regular season and tournament championships with nine goals and eight assists in his only season with the Rams.

“We’re excited to be able to get Winston back with the MetroStars,” said team President/General Manager Nick Sakiewicz. “He’s a tremendous talent whose level of play made him very popular with our players during our camp in Florida, and he immediately strengthens our midfield.

“It was not easy to part with D.J., who is a very promising goalkeeping talent, but we’re loaded at that position with Tim Howard and Paul Grafer, and the chance to acquire Winston, as well as a first-round pick next season, was a deal we had to make.”

Countess, the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. Under-23 national team, had yet to play an official league game with the MetroStars after the team acquired him in mid-August of last season. A dislocated left shoulder sidelined him for the rest of the season in early September, though he did play in two of the team’s three games for the MetroStars during their recent preseason tour of Italy.

The MetroStars open the 2002 MLS season at Giants Stadium on Saturday, March 23 when they face the New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. ET (MSG-TV, WADO 1280 AM Radio).

A bio of Winston Griffiths follows:

Winston Griffiths
Ht. 5-10
Wt. 160
BORN: 5-12-78 (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica)
College: Rhode Island
Given name: Winston Anthony Griffiths
Hometown: Clarendon, Jamaica
Nickname: "Fanna"

INTERNATIONAL: Highly regarded young member of the Jamaican national team who has also played for Jamaica's U-23 and U-20 squads...Has accumulated 25 caps with Reggae Boyz (as of 2/18/02), scoring four goals...

AS A PROFESSIONAL: Played 2001 season for Connecticut Wolves of the A-League, ranking second on the team in scoring with 14 points (five goals, four assists) in 25 games....Scored crucial go-ahead goal and added an assist for Wolves in 3-2 U.S. Open Cup win (second round) over Tampa Bay Mutiny in June 2001...Scored lone goal in 2-1 loss to Richmond in third round of 2001 U.S. Open Cup...Previously played for Jamaican club teams Galaxy FC and Rivoli FC.

COLLEGE: Starred at University of Rhode Island in 1999, leading team to Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament championships....Named to All-A10 championship team after leading Rams to 7-0 wins over UMass and Duquesne in conference tournament....Collected nine goals and eight assists (26 points) on season.

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