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MetroStars Take Home Two Awards at 2003 MLS Gala

November 22, 2003 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York Red Bulls News Release

Hollywood, CA (Saturday, November 22, 2003) – Tonight at the 2003 MLS Gala Awards Ceremony at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California the MetroStars will be presented two awards. MetroStars captain Eddie Pope will be named to the 2003 MLS Best XI, and the MetroStars ticket sales department will be honored by their peers as the 2003 MLS Ticket Staff of the Year.

Pope, who was also a finalist for the 2003 MLS ADT Defender of the Year and the 2003 MLS Individual Fair Play Award, saw action in 20 regular season games for the Metros after being hampered by a knee injury for the month of June and much of July. Despite the injury, the defensive stall worth set a career high in assists, as he recorded two in the 2003 campaign.

This is the third time in his career that the veteran defender has been named to the MLS Best XI (1997, 1998). He was also named MLS ADT Defender of the Year in 1997.

This year Pope already captured the MetroStars/ADT Defender of the Year award as well as the Player of the Year award.

Members of the MetroStars front office will also be honored tonight when the “Red and Black’s” ticket sales team is honored as 2003 MLS Ticket Staff of the Year. This award is due to the great success that the team had with season ticket sales, group sales and advance sales.

The club exceeded the total number of season tickets sold for the 2002 season with an eight percent growth. Group and advance ticket sales for all home games has also seen a 15% increase from 2002.

"The staff has done a wonderful job this season," said MetroStars Executive Vice President John Guppy. "The organization has passed last year's non-doubleheader attendance and that has a lot to say about the commitment of our staff. Last year we had an average attendance of 15,829 for games that did not feature a doubleheader. We are proud to pass that and continue to move forward."

The MetroStars' average attendance of 15,882 marks the seventh time in the eight-year team history, that the team has surpassed the 15,000 mark.

"We are very proud of the success that our team has had this year both on the field and in the front office," said MetroStars President and General Manager Nick Sakiewicz. "I am delighted that our colleagues have recognized the great efforts that the MetroStars team has put forth in all facets of the organization. It is clear with tonight’s awards that that our team has a great combination of both on-field and off-the field talent."

In addition to these awards the following is a list of Metros players who were finalists for league awards: Ricardo Clark (Rookie of the Year), Eddie Pope (2003 ADT MLS Defender of the Year and the 2003 MLS Individual Fair Play Award), Tim Regan (2003 USSF MLS Humanitarian of the Year), and John Wolyniec (2003 Pepsi MLS Goal of the Year). MetroStars head coach Bob Bradley was also nominated for the 2003 MLS Coach of the Year.

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