Baltimore Blast coach Kenny Cooper said last night that he is "disappointed" with goalkeeper Scoop Stanisic's play in the past four games and is prepared to sign another goalkeeper as soon as today.
Cooper, upset with the Blast's 2-3 start, said: "Scoop's vulnerable from long range. Teams have picked up on it, and they're taking advantage of it. I know Kansas City picked up on it Saturday night [during a 6-5 Comets victory at Baltimore Arena]."
Cooper wouldn't comment on the possibility that Stanisic might be released to make room for the new goalkeeper.
But if Stanisic plays Friday night against the San Diego Sockers at the Arena, the Blast would have to pay his salary for the entire season. .
Under Major Soccer League rules, players who have been in the league four years or more have to be paid the full season if they play in the first six games. Stanisic is in his fifth year.
Players who have been in the league three years or less have to play in the first 12 games to receive a full season's pay.
Cooper said he was talking to a goalkeeper after midnight last night and might have a decision made by today.
Cooper wouldn't say who he was contacting, but former Dallas Sidekicks goalkeeper Hank Henry, 25, and former Wichita Wings goalie Nenad Zigante, 30, are strong possibilities.
Henry seems to be the primary candidate. He has been working out with the San Diego Sockers.
Henry was 1-2 and had a 2.37 goals-against average last season with the Sidekicks. The victory was a 3-0 shutout of Wichita on Nov. 17, 1989.
"I'm looking at other alternatives as a cover for Scott [Manning, who will be out two more weeks with a sprained left ankle]," said Cooper. "Scoop has had a great opportunity with Scott out, and he's not gotten the job done. He's giving up questionable goals. We're not getting the big saves, and it's making everybody [Blast players] a little uneasy."
Stanisic has given up an average of seven goals, a performance that Cooper said "isn't going to win games. We should be 4-1 instead of 2-3. We don't want to let any more games slip away. We have an opportunity to rectify the situation now."
Blast owner Ed Hale was more candid in talking about signing a new goalkeeper.
"If everything works out, the new goalkeeper will be coming in Tuesday or Wednesday," said Hale. "He's a player who is known. We're looking right now to sign him to a 10- or 15-day contract."
Cooper said he has talked with Stanisic in the past 10 days about his problems in the goal.
"Scoop has agreed that he hasn't been focused as much as he should be during games," said Cooper. "He has a tendency to lose focus once he lets goals in."
NOTES: Manning said last night that he will talk to team physician Dr. Joseph Ciotola on Friday and "go from there. Right now, I'd say it's possible I'll play against San Diego [Nov. 15]." . . . Stanisic made some outstanding saves in Saturday night's setback and took a 4-3 lead into the fourth quarter. But he gave up a 40-foot shot by Carl Valentine to tie the game, and the Comets scored two more goals in the next six minutes for a 6-4 advantage. . . . Valentine's goal and a goal by Kansas City's Chris Duke (first of his MSL career) that slithered off Stanisic's hands were the two that appeared to hurt Stanisic's cause the most.