Negotiations are under way to bring the 1992 Major Soccer League All-Star Game to Baltimore.
During league meetings last February in San Diego, the Blast was told it could not bid for the 1992 game because it had already been promised to Cleveland several years earlier.
But now, it has been learned, a deal is in the works that would bring the game here in '92 in exchange for the Blast giving up its three-year agreement to host the College All-Star Game and draft in July.
"I'm not in a position to comment on any of that," MSL commissioner Earl Foreman said yesterday.
But Blast owner Ed Hale said he hopes the deal can be worked out.
"I'm pushing to do it," Hale said Saturday night. "We've never had a league All-Star Game here and I think it would be good for our fans."
If agreed upon, the College All-Star Game and draft that was held here last July, and which is scheduled to be here again next July, would be held this February in Kansas City in conjunction with the MSL All-Star Game.
The Blast then would host the 1992 MSL All-Star Game and the college package, and Cleveland, which would give up the rights to the 1992 MSL All-Star Game, would host the 1993 package.
League sources say Cleveland owner George Hoffman already has agreed, and only the final details must be arranged.
One of the points still under discussion seems to be a proposal by the Intercollegiate Soccer Athletic Association to hold an outdoor all-star game as well. The debate is over whether it would be unreasonably cold for such a game.
nTC An official announcement may be made within the week.
* ACROSS THE POND: The Blast, after splitting a back-to-back series with Cleveland -- losing Friday's game 11-2 and winning Saturday's 7-3 -- was to have arrived in Manchester, England, this morning.
Tomorrow, it will face Oldham Athletic, the top English Second Division outdoor soccer team, in a one-game challenge indoor match.
"We wanted to leave for England on a positive note," said Blast coach Kenny Cooper, whose team is 7-6. "We managed to do that. Now we have to focus on Oldham. I think it is kind of ironic that the foreign players came here to promote the game of soccer, and now 20 years later, we're going back to show what our American players can do."
* UPON REFLECTION: In the MSL from last season to this: Goals per game are up from 8.02 to 11.02; penalty minutes are down from 59 minutes per team to 48.5; fouls are down from 39 per game to 30; overtime games are down from 14 to 12; at this point a year ago there had been three shutouts, this year there are none.
Cleveland goalkeeper P.J. Johns was the best at this point last season with a 2.90 goals-against average. Tacoma's Chris Vaccaro leads today with a 4.00 GAA. Hat tricks have risen from 11 to 29, with Dallas forward Tatu scoring four of them.
* ACHIEVEMENTS: Friday, Tatu scored his 300th goal in Dallas' 9-7 victory over Wichita. Saturday, he managed a hat trick and an assist to total his 500th career point, in a 7-5 loss to Tacoma . . . Tacoma's Gary Heale had five goals in an 11-2 victory over Kansas City. The win also featured Tacoma's largest margin of victory ever. The same can be said for Cleveland's eight-goal margin against the Blast Friday . . . Dallas defender Mike Powers, a seven-year MSL vet, recorded his 400th blocked shot Saturday.