The Maryland Bays continued to put the accent on local talent yesterday, signing Desmond Armstrong to an American Professional Soccer League contract for next season.
A native of Columbia, Armstrong has been an all-star at Howard High School, the University of Maryland and with the Cleveland Force of the Major Soccer League before playing part of one season with the Baltimore Blast.
"We try to have the best players from the region," said Bays coach Pete Caringi. "We are very pleased to have someone of Desmond's caliber, not only as a player but as a person."
Armstrong is likely to be a defender for the defending APSL champions, but is capable of playing other positions.
"If we need to, we could move him up to midfielder," said Caringi. "We'll have flexibility with him."
Armstrong has a professional portfolio that includes 11 goals and 21 assists while playing defense for Cleveland in his second MSL season.
The next year, he had five goals and nine assists in 19 games with the Blast before a broken leg knocked him out of the lineup.
A defender for the U.S. national team, Armstrong played in the 1988 Olympics and in the World Cup last summer in Italy.
He was a three-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference player at Maryland.