Jago sits, waits as D-day arrives in Big D

MSL notebook

April 08, 1991|By Sandra McKee

Major Soccer League commissioner Earl Foreman flew to Dallas yesterday and said he expects to make an announcement about that franchise's future this afternoon.

"From what I'm hearing, I believe there will be a franchise in Dallas," said Sidekicks coach and president Gordon Jago. "Who the ownership will be I don't know, but it's in the best interest of Dallas and the league to have a franchise in Dallas."

Jago, who took the lead in finding investors for the franchise, said he did not know what his future with the team would be.

"I don't know what new owners will want to do," Jago said. "The key thing is we maintain the franchise. As for myself, I'm going to take a little break and see what happens. There will be plenty of opportunities around with expansion."

Dallas, the defending Western Division champion, finished this season 20-32, becoming the first team to fail to qualify for the playoffs a year after winning a division title.

The defending Eastern Division champion Blast made it 2-for-2, when its 21-31 record failed to qualify yesterday.

* WINGS WINGING: Dale Ervine scored two goals to lead Wichita to its 6-2 victory over St. Louis, eliminating the Blast from playoff contention.

Ervine's second goal, his 62nd of the season, broke a 1-1 first-half tie and St. Louis (32-20) never caught up.

Brad Smith, Danny Pena, Steve Pittman and Terry Rowe also scored for the Wings. Mike Fox and Bobo Lucic scored for St. Louis.

The Wings open the best-of-three playoff series against the Comets Friday at 7:35 p.m. in Kansas City.

The winner of the series plays Cleveland in the second round.

* AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS: Blast forward Dale Mitchell and midfielder Billy Ronson shared the team Most Valuable Player Award voted by the media.

Meanwhile, defender Mark Mettrick was named the team's Unsung Hero by the vote of his teammates.

Ronson, who finished with 35 goals, 33 assists, led the Blast in scoring, until his role was changed to that of a playmaker by coach Kenny Cooper.

"There are a lot of people who thought I'd never achieve this," Ronson said. "But now it's history and when I think about this 1990-91 MVP award what I'll remember most is that we lost. That we didn't make the playoffs."

Mitchell said he appreciates the award, "but winning means so much more."

He needed half a season to feel really at home in the Blast lineup, but proved a scorer is a scorer, as he wound up with 42 goals, 40 assists.

As for Mettrick (19 goals, 17 assists, 64 blocks), he epitomized the phrase team play and proved himself a defender of the Bruce Savage-caliber.

* A GOLD STAR: Blast forward Domenic Mobilio set his sights on a far-away goal at the start of this season. He wanted to become only the second player in Blast history to score 50 goals in a season.

Friday, against the Dallas Sidekicks, Mobilio notched Nos. 47 and 48. And with 57 seconds left, he had an open net and a clear shot at No. 49. But Mobilio saw Richard Chinapoo streaking toward the box on his left and passed off. Chinapoo scored.

It was a class act. Saturday, everyone found out how classy. Mobilio got only one goal against Cleveland, leaving him one shy of his 50-goal goal.

But with 49 goals and 33 assists he ties Mitchell for team scoring honors. And together with Stan Stamenkovic, they are the only Blast players ever to score more than 80 points in a season.

* BAYS AND BLAST: The Blast and the American Professional Soccer League champion Maryland Bays are close to setting the date for their outdoor meeting. The two have narrowed it down to three dates: April 28, May 17 or May 26. The site: Towson State, UMBC or Cedar Lane Park.

Blast general manager John Borozzi said he'd like it to be as close to the end of the season as possible, while most Blast players are still in the area.

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