Manning, Hale don't like it, but MSL clears Borja

January 22, 1991|By Bill Free

Wichita Wings midfielder Chico Borja has been absolved of wrongdoing in the Jan. 11 collision that has sidelined Baltimore Blast goalkeeper Scott Manning with a sprained right knee.

Major Soccer League commissioner Earl Foreman said yesterday, "I did not find conclusive evidence that Chico Borja tried to intentionally injure Scott Manning."

The decision by Foreman didn't sit well with Manning and Blast owner Ed Hale.

"It's very consistent with the way the league is run," Manning said sarcastically. "I have no control over it. It's not so much that he ran into me, but he kicked me."

Hale said: "I'm disappointed he [Foreman] didn't find anything wrong with what Chico did. It's happened too many times now. But it's Earl's ruling and I'll abide by it."

Borja kicked Manning in the right knee April 7, 1989 and put him out for four weeks, and a few weeks later Borja hit Tim Wittman from behind in the opening round of the playoffs.

Wittman incurred a severely sprained ankle and hobbled through the few games he did play the remainder of the playoffs.

Meanwhile yesterday, Blast forward Dale Mitchell and goalkeeper Hank Henry were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week in the MSL.

Mitchell (three goals, five assists) and Henry (52 saves and 5.0 goals-against average) helped the Blast post a 3-0 record at home last week.

Mitchell had two goals and two assists in the first half of Sunday's 9-6 win over the Wichita Wings.

Baltimore defender Angelo Panzetta received some preliminary good news yesterday when X-rays on his left knee were negative.

Panzetta, who injured the knee Sunday against the Wings, will undergo a more extensive MRI test today.

Blast trainer Marty McGinty said it is possible that Panzetta has lateral meniscus damage and could be lost for three to four weeks.

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