An announcement of the merger between the Maryland Bays and the Washington Stars was delayed yesterday until the end of the month, but Bays owner John Liparini said the team definitely would be playing its 1991 season at Cedar Lane Park in Howard County.
Liparini and Stars owner John Koskinen said the imminent merger would be announced after the American Professional Soccer League meetings ended this month in Tampa, Fla.
However, since the team will be playing in Columbia, there are no more questions about the name it will play under.
It will be the Maryland Bays, and Pete Caringi will return as the head coach, said Liparini and Koskinen.
Liparini said yesterday at a party in Columbia to celebrate the team's APSL championship, "I'm committed to coming back to Cedar Lane Park. Howard County is going to add 1,500 seats to bring our capacity up to the required 4,500, and they're going to keep the field in good condition at all times. Then hopefully, in 1992, the county will put together a stadium that will seat 10,000 people."
Liparini said the Bays upgrade the press box at Cedar Lane Park to meet league specifications.
"With the county improvements and ours, we'll meet the league requirements on an interim basis," Liparini said.
Koskinen, who had been talking about the possibility of playing at RFK Stadium if Cedar Lane Park wasn't upgraded, said he is convinced that Howard County officials are serious about keeping the team.
"Howard County has made a commitment to the team, and our future seems to be here," said Koskinen. "We do need a new stadium in 1992, and there appears to be a lot of progress in that direction by Howard County."
NOTES: Caringi could not attend yesterday's party because he was preparing his Essex Community College soccer team for an important game today. But he was represented by his wife, Sue, and father, Pete Sr., who took part in trophy and plaque presentations to Liparini and the players.
Shane Pendergrass and Vernon C. Gray of the Howard County Council took part in honoring the Bays yesterday. Gray said he would do all he could to help get a stadium built for the Bays.