The Baltimore Blast placed Waad Hirmez on waivers yesterday for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.
About eight hours after Hirmez was released, Blast vice president of soccer operations Drew Forrester announced the team had reached a contract agreement with Maryland Bays forward Jean Harbor.
Harbor, 26, was introduced to the crowd before last night's Blast-San Diego Sockers game at the Baltimore Arena. Harbor was wearing street clothes when he walked on to the floor and waived to the fans amid a loud ovation.
Harbor is expected to be in uniform for Saturday's game against the Crunch in Cleveland.
Blast coach Kenny Cooper said: "Jean Harbor will look like a Statue of Liberty when we put him in the penalty box. He's a gifted athlete whom I believe can help us win games. We're not putting pressure on him immediately but we believe he will eventually do the job."
Harbor said: "I'm excited about helping the Baltimore Blast win games. I believe I can help Baltimore win a championship."
Hirmez said Forrester told him yesterday morning of the club's decision.
The release of Hirmez came on the day of the Blast's sixth game and prevented Baltimore from paying him a full season's salary.
Hirmez said: "I could not change my winning personality for a losing personality. If they were blaming the 1-4 record on me, that is not right."
Hirmez said the Blast fans were the losers in the long run because the Blast is "a one-man show. What Kenny says goes. I'm a winner but they wouldn't listen to me."
Forrester said of the Hirmez release: "It was an organizational decision that was made after careful thought and review. We brought him to Baltimore with good intentions and I'm sure he came here with the same feelings."