Eight teams are committed to play and an 18-game schedule has been drawn up for the 1991 American Professional Soccer League season.
But, said Maryland Bays coach Pete Caringi, there still is a slim chance the APSL might fold this weekend when the league owners meet in Miami.
"The league looks like a go," said Caringi last night. "We'll know for sure after this weekend. Two weeks ago, the chances of the league playing were 50-50. This week it's 95 percent certain we'll play."
The Maryland Bays, defending APSL champions, are one of the eight teams set to play in the streamlined league, which will consist of one division after having lost 15 teams from last season, when there was an American Soccer League (12 teams) and a Western Soccer League (11 teams).
The other teams ready to go are the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, the Colorado Foxes, the Albany Capitals, the Penn-Jersey Spirit, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Miami Sharks.
Caringi said the APSL has been hurt badly by the United States Soccer Federation's attempt to form a major professional outdoor soccer league by the summer of 1992.
The USSF has been told by FIFA, the sport's world governing body, that it must have a major outdoor pro league in place by 1992 for the United States to play host to the 1994 World Cup.
"At least six teams from the APSL have decided not to play this season and wait to play in the major pro league in 1992," said Caringi. "That's how the rumor got started that we weren't going to have an APSL this season. Teams like the Seattle Storm paid their money to play in the APSL this season but decided to wait for the 1992 major pro league."