In two surprising developments yesterday, the Maryland Bays announced they would play four of 11 home games at RFK Stadium and compete in the Western Division of the American Professional Soccer League this season.
Bays president and general manager John Liparini had said last fall that his team would play all its home games at Cedar Lane Park in Columbia as long as the park was brought up to APSL standards.
Those standards supposedly have been met with the addition of 1,500 seats to bring the capacity to 4,000.
The Bays' home opener will be played at Cedar Lane Park on May 11 at 7 p.m. against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The season opener for the Bays will be May 4 against the Penn-Jersey Spirit.
John Koskinen, new chairman and part-owner of the Bays, apparently wanted some games moved to RFK Stadium. Koskinen is the former owner of the APSL Washington Stars, which merged with the Bays after the the 1990 season.
The Bays are playing in the Western Division with the Salt Lake Sting, San Francisco Bay Blackhawks and Colorado Foxes.
APSL officials had announced early last month that there would be one division of eight or nine teams.
But that has been changed, and there was no way to break the two divisions down strictly by geography because there are only three teams from the West.
Someone from the East had to play in the West.
The Eastern Division will be made up of the Albany Capitals, the Penn Jersey Spirit, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the Miami Freedom and Tampa Bay Rowdies.