Savage invited for 2nd U.S. team game Blast defender trying for World Cup berth

May 10, 1991|By Bill Free

After starting for the U.S. national team and playing a solid game in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Uruguay before 35,000 in Denver, Baltimore Blast defender Bruce Savage will be on the field again May 19 when the U.S. national team meets 1990 World Cup runner-up Argentina in Palo Alto, Calif.

Savage, 30, has been invited back to the national team for a second look by coach Bora Milutinovic, who is preparing the U.S. squad for the 1994 World Cup, which be played in the United States.

If Savage continues to impress Milutinovic, he could be offered a full-time contract with the U.S. national team and play in the 1994 World Cup.

"I'd love it to happen," said Savage. "But it's way too early to think about something like that. The coach [Milutinovic] just joined the team in March, and he wants to look at as many players as possible before he makes any final decisions. Unless he sees someone who plays fantastic, I'm sure it will be awhile before players are signed to contracts."

The match against Argentina is Game 5 in the World Series of Soccer, which will continue throughout the summer.

Savage, the Blast's Player of the Decade, and Columbia's Desmond Armstrong were starting defenders against Uruguay.

Armstrong, a former University of Maryland soccer standout and Blast defender, played for the U.S. national team in the 1990 World Cup.

Asked to assess his performance against Uruguay, Savage said: "I got beat a few times, but not badly enough to give up any goals. I was really tired after the game in the high altitude, but I had a good time. I'm looking forward to going back."

Savage, who played for the United States in the 1984 Olympics, will leave for Palo Alto on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Savage's future with the Blast is uncertain even if he doesn't play full time for the U.S. national team.

Savage said yesterday that he has sold his home in Timonium and will be moving to Florida in mid-June. If his wife, Angel, gets a job teaching in Florida this fall, Savage most likely will retire from the Blast.

"I'm not making any decisions until I know something for sure," said Savage. "I could always rent a house if I came back to play for the Blast."

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