New coach Gary Hindley has been quite a hit in the early going for the Maryland Bays.
He has coached the team for five games and won them all, including the 2-0 victory over the Baltimore Blast in an exhibition challenge match for outdoor soccer bragging rights in the state.
But Hindley, whose Bays (4-0) will meet the Tampa Bay Rowdies (1-3) tonight at the University of South Florida at 8, said it is too early to get excited about his fast-starting team.
"Remember, it's where you are on Aug. 24 [the last day of the regular season in the American Professional Soccer League] that counts, not May 24," he said.
However, the early returns look promising. The Bays have the best record in the league after four games of a 21-game season.
Hindley's primary problem has been working all his players into game action.
He has the league's leading scorer and possibly top outdoor player in the country in Jean Harbor (four goals, three assists for 11 points). Phillip Gyau, last season's Most Valuable Player in the American Soccer League, has rejoined the team, and 1990 World Cup veterans Desmond Armstrong and Bruce Murray have been available for two games.
That's only part of the talent for Maryland.
Other highly regarded Bays players are U.S. national team defender Jeff Agoos, forward Brian Haynes (whom Hindley compares favorably with Gyau), new defender George Gelnovatch, local standout defender Chris Reif, goalkeeper Steve Powers and Joe Barger, Michael Brady, Kevin Sloan, Darryl Gee, Omid Namazi and John Abe.
"These guys have done what everybody has asked," Hindley said.
Gyau has passed his Bays physical and will travel with the team tonight. He most likely will play if his contract paperwork has been completed in time.