Jean Harbor, the highly regarded Maryland Bays forward, will put on a Baltimore Blast uniform for the first time and practice with the team today at Myers Pavilion.
It will be Harbor's lone full-scale workout with the team before hmakes his Major Soccer League debut Saturday afternoon in a 1:05 game against the Cleveland Crunch at Richfield Coliseum.
Even though he signed with the Blast on Saturday, endinseveral weeks of on-again, off-again negotiations, Harbor won't be able to join the team full time for two weeks because he wants to give his Rockville employers two weeks' notice before taking a leave of absence. Harbor said his job as a chemist requires a replacement who must undergo an extended period of training.
The man who was known in the outdoor American ProfessionaSoccer League as the scoring machine said he was able to get one day off this week to practice.
Harbor, 6 feet 1, 195, is so much bigger than most socceplayers that Blast equipment manager Mike Zolotorow was scurrying around Myers Pavilion yesterday in an attempt to find him shoes and other equipment.
Harbor has ordered special indoor turf shoes, but they won'arrive in time for today's practice.
Harbor said his head has been spinning since he signeSaturday, met the Blast players in the locker room before the game against the San Diego Sockers and was given an ovation by the Blast fans at the Baltimore Arena.
"I couldn't believe the cheers," said Harbor, who is also beincourted by the U.S. national team. "I said, 'My God, this is tremendous.' I can't believe how welcome the players made me feel in the locker room. I had not met very many of them, and they were so happy to see me."
Harbor, 26, has been called a franchise player by some locasoccer experts, but he said he's not expecting miracles in his first few games of indoor play.
"I'm not coming in here thinking only about scoring goals," saiHarbor. "I'm going to try and create more chances for other players and concentrate on winning games. Nothing matters unless we win."