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Despite Goose Eggs, Soccer Sales Golden

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A LACK of scoring is often cited as a hurdle to soccer's becoming popular with spectators in the United States. Having the World Cup tournament in the US next year may not be enough to overcome a paucity of goals.

Two recent outings by the US national team yielded little in the way of TV highlights. Games against Russia and Hungary resulted in scoreless ties. These and other contests have sunk the Americans' record in recent international play to 0-3-6 since Jan. 30. and underlined that ties are a common occurrence in the sport.

If this strikes meat-and-potatoes American fans as off-putting and peculiar, it doesn't appear to bother the converted, judging by World Cup ticket sales.

By last week, all but two of eight tournament sites had sold out the tickets allocated for the American "soccer family" - those who are registered with the US Soccer Federation or have attended national team games during the past year. Fifteen percent of the overall US allotment of nearly 2 million tickets has been made available in a private sale to this group. The supply of these tickets for first- and second-round games (at from $25 to $70 per ticket) has been exhausted in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles , New York-New Jersey, San Francisco, and Washington. Detroit and Orlando, Fla., haven't sold out yet. The general public sale begins on a not-yet-determined date in June. Superlative gesture by a Super player

Three cheers for Troy Aikman, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, whose generosity since the Super Bowl is as impressive as his performance was in it. The championship game's most valuable player gave $20,000 to his former high school in Henryetta, Okla., to be used toward a new sports facility. At the dedication of the Troy Aikman Sports Center at Henryetta High School, he said his contribution "was no more significant than any other person who donated time or money. It just happens I was able to provide

a little more because of my means." Mavericks try to dodge `worst ever' bullet

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