U.S. National team defender Desmond Armstrong, who yesterday signed a one-year contract with the Maryland Bays of the Professional American Soccer League, last night agreed to terms with Santos of Brazil. He leaves today for four months with the internationally respected team.
"Santos had offered me a full year contract with an option to buy me at the end of the year earlier," said Armstrong, who will begin playing with the Bays in June. "It is one thing to go there to play for four months and another to go for a year. We've worked it
out. They'll allow me to play for the U.S. National team in our game against Argentina and in the North America Cup game against Mexico and there is a chance I can also play in the U.S. game against Canada."
Until last night, Armstrong had planned to join the U.S. National team for a training camp in Bermuda.
"I've got the approval of the U.S. National team," he said. "In fact, they're excited about it."
But no more excited than Armstrong is to be joining Santos, the team Pele played for and made famous.
"It's tremendous," said Armstrong, a graduate of Howard High. "They're very good with a very good reputation around the world. It is flattering just to know they have interest."
The arrangement with Santos should not affect the Soccer Start program for children in Baltimore City that he is putting together with the help of Johns Hopkins coach Mark Butler, nor his plans for summer camps at Howard Community College.