Jean Harbor, the star player, was explaining how he helped the Maryland Bays defeat the Baltimore Blast, 2-0, Sunday when Pete Caringi, the ex-coach, walked up and pretended to join in the interview session.
A serious and tired Harbor continued to talk for several seconds about how he scored on a head shot and set up another goal with a pass to Brian Haynes, before spotting Caringi.
The moment Harbor realized Caringi was present, Harbor broke into a big grin and embraced Caringi.
They recaptured the emotion of last summer's championship season, when Caringi, in his first year as Bays head coach, guided Maryland to the American Professional Soccer League championship.
The Bays will start defending that title tomorrow night, as they face the Penn-Jersey Spirit at Trenton State (N.J.) College in their APSL regular-season opener. But they will do it with Gary Hindley, not Caringi, as coach.
On Feb. 20, Caringi resigned to sign a three-year contract as head soccer coach at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Caringi said that night: "I'll always love the Bays. I'll still go to every home game and help out with anything [president-general manager] John Liparini wants me to. But, for the sake of my family, I just couldn't pass up the stability of a three-year contract."
Bays goalkeeper Steve Powers said his teammates were crestfallen after Caringi's resignation.
"We were really down, but we soon realized we were professionals and had to go on with a new coach," said Powers.
Hindley became available when the APSL Orlando Lions folded and already has coached the Bays to the win over the Blast.
Powers said Hindley, an ex-goalkeeper, approaches the game a little differently from Caringi, an ex-forward for the University of Baltimore.
"Gary starts at the back [defense] and works to the front [offense]," said Powers. "Pete started at the front and worked toward the back."
To which Hindley said: "That's not completely true. I like to go forward as much as anybody. But when I came here, I felt the most important thing to do was shape up the defense. When you have a Jean Harbor up front, there's not a whole lot you have to do to improve."
On defense, Hindley said the Bays need to improve on transition, recognition and organization.
NOTES: Hindley said Penn-Jersey could present a lot of problems for the Bays because "they're a hard-working team and will have Cris Vaccaro [Tacoma
Stars goalkeeper] in the goal."
Standings Based on point system: Six points for a victory in regulation or overtime; one point for each goal scored in regulation up to a maximum of three; in matches decided by penalty kicks, four points to the winner and two to the loser.
Western Conference Colorado Foxes, Maryland Bays, Salt Lake Sting, San Francisco Bay Blackhawks
American Conference Albany Capitals, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, Miami Freedom, Penn-Jersey Spirit, Tampa Bay Rowdies
Playoff system The first- and second-place teams from each conference qualifies for playoffs. If a series is tied at one win, a 30-minute mini-game will be played immediately after the second game to determine the winner.
Bays schedule May 4, at Penn-Jersey 7:30 p.m.
May 11, Fort Lauderdale 7 p.m.
May 19, Penn-Jersey* 6:05 p.m.
May 25, Tampa Bay 8 p.m.
June 1, at Tampa Bay 8 p.m.
June 8, Miami 7 p.m.
June 16, Millonarios (exhib.)* 6:05 p.m.
June 21, at Salt Lake 9:30 p.m.
June 30, Colorado* 6:05 p.m.
July 5, at Colorado 9 p.m.
July 6, at San Francisco 5:05 p.m.
July 14, Salt Lake 7:05 p.m.
July 20, at Penn-Jersey 7:30 p.m.
July 21, at Albany 3:05 p.m.
July 28, Penn-Jersey 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 3, at Albany 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 4, Albany 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 10, San Francisco* 6:05 p.m.
Aug. 17, Albany 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 23, at Fort Lauderdale 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 24, at Miami 8 p.m.
*-at RFK Stadium.