The Maryland Bays introduced their new coach, Gary Hindley, and announced the signing of U.S. National Team member Bruce Murray during a news conference at the Columbia Inn yesterday.
Hindley, who coached the Orlando Lions of the American Professional Soccer League for the last two seasons, became available when he was left without a team after the Lions merged with Fort Lauderdale last fall.
The Bays also are the result of a merger, having absorbed players from the defunct Washington Stars and Washington Diplomats.
Hindley succeeds Pete Caringi, who resigned last month to become head soccer coach at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Murray, from Germantown and the top collegiate player as a Clemson University senior in 1987, becomes the second National Team player to join the Bays. Desmond Armstrong of Columbia signed last month. Against Mexico in Los Angeles last weekend, Murray had the game-tying goal on a 25-yard direct free kick in the final minute.
The Bays won the APSL title last fall, and Hindley said, "There are not many times when you step into the pressure of having to repeat as champion on your first day of work.
"I'm familiar with the players -- three of them have played for me in the past -- and now you look at the Bays and the Stars lineups and other players who might be available, and the hardest job will be paring the squad to 18-20 players.
"At Orlando, it was the opposite, as I had a new situation and had to bring in new players to fill positions."
The new Bays leader plans few if any changes -- "If it's not broken, don't fix it" -- but said, "The Bays' style was the hardest to prepare for because their offensive abilities were not based on one player. They had players who could do several things, and they complemented each other."
Scoring star Phillip Gyau was the league's most valuable player, and the Bays chose Jean Harbor as their most valuable player.
"Everybody that's here is on the roster," Hindley said. "Nobody has to prove anything to me. They did that last year when they went 15-5 and were still playing when my team was done.
"Six preseason games are already set, and if need be I can go into a pool of players who will fit our style -- push the ball forward, stabilize in back."
Armstrong (Santos of Brazil), Gyau (Belgium) and Omid Nemazi (Chile) are playing out of the country, probably until May, but the rest of the team will open practice at Howard Community College tomorrow evening.
Two players, midfielder Rob Ryerson and goalkeeper Steve Powers, are coming off operations. Ryerson underwent reconstructive knee surgery and is not scheduled to play until July, and Powers had a dislocated shoulder fixed.