If there is a Major Soccer League goal to defend at the Baltimore Arena this season, former Tacoma goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro, not longtime All-Star Blast goalie Scott Manning, will be doing it.
Tacoma general manager Earl Powell said last night that Vaccaro has been signed by Baltimore.
"They made him an offer July 18 and we had 10 days to match Powell said. "We decided not to for a couple reasons. One, there were some things in the contract we didn't want to match and two, we know Cris wants to play on the East Coast because of some illness in his family. We think he'll be happier there."
Blast general manager and coach Kenny Cooper declined to comment on the report and Vacarro did not return messages left on his answering machine.
The Blast already has re-signed backup goalkeeper Hank Henry, leaving Manning the odd man out.
Manning, 33, who has been with the Blast since signing a 10-day contract in 1982, had a 5.92 GAA and a 12-16 record last season, the first losing season in the team's history.
His current contract does not expire until Aug. 31, but the Blast is not expected to make any attempt to keep him on the roster.
Manning could not be reached for comment.
Vaccaro, 32, who played seven games for Baltimore in 1980-81, produced a season many consider the best of his career last season.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder had the second-best goals-against average in the MSL last season, holding opposing teams to 4.65 goals a game. His won-lost record was 22-22 while playing for the Stars, who suffered from a lack of goal-scoring ability. Vacarro also was voted to the MSL All-Star team.