After months of discussions, the Maryland Bays and the Washington Stars of the American Pro Soccer League have merged.
Bays owner John Liparini said today he and Stars owner John Koskinen have reached an agreement that will keep the team playing at Cedar Run Park in Howard County for the 1991 season. The team will continue to be known as the Bays.
"We hope to become the regional team for Baltimore and Washington," said Liparini. "The market is greater than the small, local market we have been playing to. With that in mind and with the idea that a full-fledged professional league will be established by the United States Soccer Federation by 1992, we want the Bays positioned to take advantage of it."
Liparini will be president and general manager of the team, while Koskinen will be chairman of the board.
Pete Caringi is expected to continue as coach. He led the Bays to the APSL championship last season.
"Right now, we're operating on a handshake," said Liparini. "But we've agreed to combine our front offices. We both realize we could not afford to operate our teams, even if they were successful, without increasing our budgets. We're hoping this is a worthwhile investment."
The Bays owner said to operate the team the way he and his new partner envision for the 1991 season will take a budget of from $500,000 to $600,000. Liparini also said the franchise still hopes to be playing in a new, 10,000-seat stadium in Howard County by 1992.