Date:Wednesday May 24 2006
Leeds winger Eddie Lewis put aside his play-off heartbreak and backed the player who broke Leeds hearts -Jay DeMerit - to join him in the USA national team.
DeMerit headed the first goal to set Watford on their way to a 3-0 triumph in the Championship final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, thereby condemning Leeds to a third successive season outside the top flight.
The experience was particularly painful for Lewis, who was also on the losing side as West Ham beat Preston in the fixture last season - but at least the 32-year-old, who has more than 50 caps for his country, has a World Cup campaign to look forward to next month.
Hornets defender DeMerit narrowly missed out on a place in Bruce Arena's squad for the tournament - but Lewis believes the uncapped 26-year-old has a bright future at international level.
Lewis: 'Jay is quite a young player, and he will be playing in the Premiership next year, so why not? He could break into the squad - absolutely.
'I don't know him too well, but I spoke to him briefly after yesterday's game. It's a great achievement for him, and I wish him all the best.
'I've lost two play-off finals in two years now. I'm going to try to forget about it quickly, but it takes a while.
'They're special games and it's a great achievement to get to the final, but being on the wrong end twice really hurts.'
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