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1996 Metrostars: Where are they now?

I remember when the MLS was announced and that there would be a New York team. I was 11 at the time and a huge soccer fan. I played for my middle school as well as two different traveling soccer teams, so needless to say, I was excited to see professionals play the game I loved so much. I convinced my dad to get season tickets, which he did. I was sitting midfield 8 rows back. It was the greatest thing in the world. I'd long been a NFL fan and seats like those would cost an arm and a leg. I didn't miss a single game that entire season, even why my parents couldn't make it. I bartered tickets for rides from coaches and teachers to see my beloved Metros play. The team wasn't the greatest but they were fun to watch. Below is a list of players who played at least 5 games during that inaugural season and what they are doing now.

Rhett Harty: After being blackballed by the league for the anti-trust suit, he retired to Portland, OR to work in the operating room at St. Jude Medical Center.

Peter Vermes: Peter Vermes was traded to the Colorado Rapids after the first season. Injuries forced him to retire in 2002. He now works for the Kansas City Wizards front office.

Tony Meola: After retiring from soccer, Tony has been running his own mortgage firm as well as coaching his son's 12U soccer club in Toms River, NJ.

Giovanni Savarese: Giovanni ran the Red Bulls youth development program through 2007. He now is a commentator for ESPN Deportes and coaches various teams in New York.

Tab Ramos: Tab Ramos retired after the 2002 season, the last of the original line up. Since retiring he has run a youth program in Holmdel, NJ.

Nicola Caricola: Nicola Caricola is responsible for the Metros lack of success as his own goal against New England at the home opener started the Curse of Caricola.

Miles Joseph: Miles Joseph was traded to Columbus in 2000 for a second round pick in the 2001 draft. After bouncing around various teams, he finally retired. He now is the Executive Director of NY Elite FC.

Jeff Zaun: Jeff is now an Associate Head Coach for Rutgers University.

Matt Knowles: Matt left outdoor soccer for indoor in 1998. He is now coaching.

A.J. Wood: Since retiring from soccer in 2002, he has been working for DC United as a youth development coach.

Cristian De Silva: Cristian was the Head Coach of the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights until 2009 to accept a position in the New York Red Bulls front office as Head of Player Recruitment. He is the Head Coach of the U14 team.

Rob Johnson: Rob is now an assistant coach for Temple University.

Roberto Donadoni: Roberto succeeded Marcello Lippi as Head Coach of the Italian National Team following World Cup 2006. He was relieved of his duties after Italy failed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

Damian Silvera: Damian has been coaching soccer teams since his retirement from professional soccer.

Ted Gillen: Ted is now the Head Coach for Toms River High School East's boys team.

Anthony De Ávila: Anthony still plays for América de Cali in Columbia.

Mickey Kydes: Mickey currently owns and operates "Mickey Kydes Soccer Enterprises" which provides coaching support for youth soccer teams. He is also the President of Beachside Soccer Club of CT.

Edmundo Rodriguez: He has served as an assistant coach of the University of Tampa's women's soccer team.

Ruben Dario Hernandez: After being unhappy with the United States, the league granted him release to return to Columbia.

Ian Hennessy: Ian holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and currently works for the USSF as a scout. He continues to coach at the University of Delaware.

Manny Lagos: Manny has been named the head coach of the NSC Minnesota Stars.

During the break for the World Cup, I will have grades for the team's play and what needs to improve in the second have of the season.