The Milwaukee Rampage has signed former Columbus Crew defender Ricardo Iribarren for the 1999 season. "I think a lot of credit has to go to this organization," said Milwaukee coach Carlos "Cacho" Cordoba. "It takes a great effort to bring that type of player here from MLS. It shows what kind of commitment the owners have to the fans here." Iribarren played for Argentine clubs Estudiantes de la Plata and Belgrano before joining the Crew in 1996, when he appeared in 16 games. After sitting out 1997 with visa problems, he rejoined Columbus in 1998, starting 22 games and scoring the winning goal in the team's U.S. Open Cup semifinal victory over the MetroStars. "He will play a central defender for us," said Cordoba, the former coach of MLS' Miami Fusion. "He will form a good partnership with Dino [Lopez]. Because he knows me, he will be able to adapt quickly to the style of game we will play. His experience and leadership will be very important to this team." Milwaukee kicks off its 1999 A-League season on May 8, when the Rampage hosts the New Orleans Storm at Uihlein Soccer Park.
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