Maryland Bays midfielder Kevin Sloan still considers himself "an unknown quantity."
Even after scoring in an APSL record nine consecutive games this season, Sloan knows he won't be the marked offensive player on the field this Sunday night at Cedar Lane Park when the Bays face the Penn-Jersey Spirit.
"I know the defenders are concentrating more on Jean Harbor," Sloan said of the Bays' leading scorer, who has 11 goals. "He attracts the defense, I try to slip through and it's been pretty effective. He's had plenty to do with my success."
Sloan said that on six of his nine goals this season, Harbor has been the catalyst of the play, unselfishly giving him the ball.
Harbor also has been effective in bringing another kind of attention to himself, and indirectly, Sloan.
When the Bays play England's Sheffield club team next Wednesday at Cedar Lane Park, U.S. World Cup scouts will be in attendance to give not only the visiting team a look, but also to look for players for the American team for 1994.
"It's always been a goal of mine to play in the World Cup," said Sloan. "But to be quite honest, I haven't really gotten a lot of attention."
Sloan, 25, played his college soccer at Catawba and was drafted in 1987 by the Chicago Sting of the MSL. They folded and he was then picked up by the Cleveland Force, which also folded.
Sloan wound up playing indoor soccer in the AISA for the Dayton Dynamo.
"I was taking 12-hour bus trips and not making very much money," Sloan said.
So he decided to play outdoor soccer for the Bays four years ago.
"We really have a good thing going here," said Sloan, who had six goals and three assists last year. "The fans have been very supportive since we moved to Columbia and we're all very excited about the growth."
Sloan said now that his outdoor game is peaking, he is "strongly considering" a tryout for the Blast and might be playing at the Arena this fall for coach Kenny Cooper.
"As good as his outdoor skills are I think he would be an even better indoor player," said Bays coach Gary Hindley, who just happens to be the man who drafted him in Chicago four years ago. "He has a consistent work rate, good technical ability and this year he's proven that he knows how to finish a play."