Sockers offer to deal for Blast's Wright

August 27, 1991|By Bill Free

The San Diego Sockers have offered to trade veteran midfielder Waad Hirmez to the Baltimore Blast for forward Paul Wright, said Wright yesterday from his home in San Diego.

"I've heard a lot of different scenarios, but the main one is Waad coming to Baltimore for me," said Wright, the speedy impact player the Blast picked up on waivers from the Sockers last July.

Wright, who grew up in San Diego and wants to stay close to his mother, who has been ill, has balked at coming to Baltimore from the beginning and didn't show up for a scheduled Blast physical a few weeks ago.

"I've already told [Blast coach] Kenny Cooper I don't want to play in Baltimore," said Wright.

Cooper confirmed last night he has had trade discussions with the Sockers and said, "[Sockers coach] Ron Newman has thrown us some names out."

"But we're not going to be too quick to do anything," said Cooper. "We'd need to get a quality player for a Paul Wright. He's an explosive player who can score goals, and he's always given us a lot of trouble. Right now he's a member of the Baltimore Blast. San Diego wants him to play out there and we want him to play for us. San Diego had a chance to keep him and they didn't."

Wright, 22, was placed on waivers by former San Diego owner Ron Fowler and Sockers president Ron Cady a couple of days before Fowler ceased operations. Fowler didn't want to be responsible for Wright's contract if no other investors were found for the team.

Hirmez, 29, scored seven goals and had four assists in 10 playoff

games last season for the Sockers, who have won four straight Major Soccer League championships. Wright had four goals and four assists in 11 playoff games for San Diego.

Meanwhile yesterday, the Blast announced the signing of defender Doug Neely, 26, who has been a starter for the defunct Kansas City Comets the past two seasons.

Neely had 11 goals, 14 assists and a career-high 66 blocked shots last season.

NOTES: Cooper said yesterday that he has been to Dallas to meet with Sidekicks scoring star Tatu and his wife, Lanai, about signing with Baltimore. But Cooper said: "We're not close to signing Tatu. I've also had discussions with Carl Valentine [former Blast midfielder who played last season for Kansas City], and Carl is looking at all possibilities." . . . The Blast will open the 1991-92 season Oct. 19 at the Baltimore Arena at 7:35 p.m. against the Dallas Sidekicks. The entire Blast schedule will be announced in the next couple of days. . . . The 13th MSL All-Star Game will be played at the Baltimore Arena Feb. 13 at 7:35 p.m.

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