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Bulgarian Hristo Stoitchkov could be an early-season casualty. Jonathan Daniel/Allsport
A piece of his mind
Bulgarian star Stoitchkov holds nothing back from teammates
It's the best rivalry in MLS: Fire versus MetroStars, which last year involved a bench-clearing brawl, a general manager secretly vowing to pay his players' yellow-card fines and -- oh, yes -- some top-notch soccer. So circle the dates on which they'll meet: June 30, Sept. 1 and (SI's Grant Wahl predicts) Oct. 21 in MLS Cup 2001. Leading the way is tempestuous Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoitchkov. What makes Stoitchkov the anti-Matthäus -- and the primary reason Chicago is SI's pick to win MLS Cup 2001 -- is his willingness to teach, writes Wahl.
Soccer America Preview: East | Central | West
||Soccer America: MLS enters Year 6|
MLS must convince fans that its brand of soccer is worth following.