After nearly two months of uncertainty over whether Dale Mitchell would wear a Baltimore Blast uniform this season, the guessing is over.
Mitchell will arrive in Baltimore on Monday and play Oct. 20 in the Major Soccer League season opener against the Wichita Wings in Wichita, Kan.
Mitchell flew yesterday from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Kansas City, Mo., where he will spend three days with his wife, Diane, and two daughters, Danielle and Kristina, before leaving Saturday morning to drive to Baltimore.
Mitchell was traded by the Kansas City Comets to the Blast on Aug. 20 for Carl Valentine. But Mitchell filed a contract grievance against Comets owner Chris Clouser and asked sports arbitrator George Nicolau to declare him a free agent.
Nicolau denied Mitchell's grievance, a decision that upheld the trade and prevented Mitchell from signing as a free agent with the Tacoma Stars.
Mitchell said Clouser used unwritten promises in the form of promotions and commercials worth $18,000 to get him to sign with Kansas City, and then traded him to the Blast, which did not know of those promises.
Without Mitchell, Domenic Mobilio and Tim Wittman last weekend, Baltimore lost two preseason games to the St. Louis Storm. Mitchell and Mobilio were finishing their outdoor season with the Vancouver 86ers, and Wittman was recovering from a strained lower back.
Those three players combined for 128 goals last season.