Paul Wright has changed his stand against the Baltimore Blast and said last night he would play for the team if the two sides could come to an agreement on how much he should be paid for the 1991-92 season.
Wright, the impact player from the San Diego Sockers who was picked up on waivers last June by the Blast, said: "I've told the Blast I'd be happy to come to Baltimore and play. Rod Castro [former Sockers midfielder] is there, and I'd enjoy playing with him. All I want is them to honor the $60,000 contract I had with San Diego and pay me for July and August when I report to camp."
Drew Forrester, Blast vice president of soccer operations, said last night that the team could not honor the $60,000 contract because it came under the old team salary cap of $650,000 instead of the new cap of $550,000, which went into effect in early August.
Forrester also said Baltimore could not pay Wright the money he wants from July and August because "all players under contract with the Blast have to make appearances and do promotional work."
Forrester said the Blast could not allow Wright to remain in San Diego and get paid for it.
"Until Paul reports to us, his salary and benefits don't start," said Forrester.
Wright said he has told the team he wanted to remain in San Diego this summer "to be with my mom, who is sick. I don't think that's asking too much. It's not like I'm 34 or something like that. I'm 22."
Forrester said Baltimore has granted Wright that wish, but the team can't pay him while he is in San Diego.
The Blast is threatening to place Wright on the suspended list for the season (he wouldn't count on the roster and not be paid) if he doesn't report for training camp Tuesday.
However, Forrester and Wright said last night that they had a positive telephone conversation and are hoping they can working out the money problems.
"We're not that far apart," said Wright. "They say they think highly of me, so why don't they pay me like it?"
Forrester said: "Paul told me he would have a decision by Friday on whether he is going to report and play for the money we're offering [thought to be $40,000 instead of $60,000]."