COLUMBUS, Ohio (Friday, June 11, 2004) - Responding to an urgent request from his club, Earnie Stewart has returned to D.C. in order to be available for United's match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. Stewart, the USA's all-time leader in World Cup qualifying appearances (27) and goals (9), will return to Columbus on Sunday morning in time for the USA's opening qualifier against Grenada.
D.C. United management contacted U.S. Manager Bruce Arena on Thursday afternoon with the request for Stewart's return, citing a severely depleted roster due to numerous injuries. After consulting with Stewart, Arena agreed to the release.
"This is not something we had to do," said Arena. "Nonetheless, D.C. United presented an emergency circumstance with a lack of available players for their game Saturday night. In the end, we left it up to Earnie, and he decided to go back. We look forward to his return, and we are confident that our group will be prepared to be succesful on Sunday."