If indoor game isn't piece of cake, Harbor will have to eat words

MSL notebook:

November 19, 1991|By Sandra McKee

It's an intriguing proposition. Can outdoor soccer star Jean Harbor do for the Blast what he has done for the Maryland Bays? And is indoor soccer the piece of cake Harbor has suggested it to be in the past?

The Bays All-Star finally reached agreement with the Blast Saturday, and now must deliver the goods. While Blast coach Kenny Cooper is saying he does not expect Harbor to come in and immediately do it all, Harbor has contended for two years that with his ability, the indoor game will be no problem.

Indoor soccer, he said last summer, is for "old players, who are retiring" from the outdoor game. "When I'm ready to retire, I'll consider it."

"Did I say that?" Harbor said after signing with the Blast. "Maybe it was a slip of the tongue."

And then Harbor winked, saying, "I can't remember saying that at all."

Last spring, Harbor also said if the Blast would give him a contract, without making him try out, he would come and score goals.

Now he has his chance. Training camp is history. And here he is joining up at an opportune time. The Blast is on the road for two games, away from the expectant home crowd; and the Blast, aside from Saturday's 8-7 victory over San Diego, is struggling to find itself.

* HOLD THOSE CARDS: The Blast (2-4) doesn't need any sympathy yet. Saturday, in the second half the team looked as if it had found its confidence and its running game, in an 8-7 victory over San Diego.

But all was not perfect. Allowing seven goals is not exactly a strong defensive effort. But the Blast played well together in the second half, with Domenic Mobilio and Joe Koziol leading the way with six goals between them.

Whether the results were an aberration or a sign of things to come, remains to be seen.

* SETTLED AND UNSETTLED: MSL Players Association director John Kerr said yesterday he and Blast attorney Jim Gast settled the grievance brought by Tim Wittman for $6,250 in injury pay without going to arbitration. Wittman will get the full amount.

Kerr also said he will file a grievance on the part of midfielder Waad Hirmez today or tomorrow, charging the Blast cut him Saturday while injured.

* BEST OF THE BEST: Mobilio and Wings forward Dale Ervine arein a neck-in-neck battle for the MSL's goal-scoring lead. Mobilio, with 11 following his four-goal production Saturday, led going into the Wings game Sunday. But Ervine scored a hat trick in Wichita's 8-5 victory over Dallas, and now has the advantage 12-11.

Dallas' Joe Papaleo remains on top in the goalkeeping race. Papaleo has a 4.47 goals-against-average, while San Diego's Victor Nogueira has a 4.81 GAA . . . Blast keeper Cris Vaccaro is sixth in the league, allowing 6.01 goals a game.

* WHO IS THIS GUY? When Blast defender Doug Neely saw Harbor, 6 feet 1, 195 pounds, for the first time Saturday night, he thought he was seeing an NBA player. "He's so big," said Neely. "All I could say was 'Wow!' "

* RETIRED OR NOT? The St. Louis Storm has placed goalkeeper Zoltan Toth on the suspended list. Toth, who said he was retiring two weeks ago, has yet to file any retirement papers.

* OPEN ARMS? San Diego coach Ron Newman said Hirmez, cut by the Blast Saturday, is welcome to return to San Diego and practice with the Sockers.

Newman said if he can find an open spot, something could probably be worked out with Hirmez to rejoin the team.

"He's very popular in San Diego," Newman said. "And he has scored a lot of big goals for us. I guess, it just didn't work for him with the Blast. I thought it would."

* CRUNCH CRUNCHED: The Cleveland Crunch have lost three straight games, and are 0-2 at home, following Friday's 8-3 loss to San Diego. The Sockers were led by Wes Wade's three goals and two each from Wittman and Terry Woodberry.

* MSL-LANIA: Koziol scored twice Saturday and handed out one assist, and Rod Castro scored his first goal of the season . . . Tacoma coach Keith Weller was put on report by the officials after that game for his action in the referees' "crease" circle at midfield and for further abuse at the locker room entrance.

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