Former Blast goalkeeper Scott Manning met with Wichita coach Roy Turner today and signed a 15-day contract with the Wings.
"To be honest, it feels kind of funny," said Manning, 34. "You don't play in one city for 10 years and just pick up and play somewhere else without it feeling funny. It's almost like rooting against the Orioles."
The Wings, 13-11, and in second place in the Major Soccer League standings, became in need of a goalkeeper Saturday when Kris Peat suffered a strained anterior capsule tendon. The injury occurred in a 7-6 loss to the Blast at the Arena. Peat is expected to be out three to four weeks.
According to MSL rules, Wichita can sign Manning to two 15-day contracts. After that, the Wings have to sign him for the remainder of the season or not use him again in the same season.
For Manning, it is like coming full circle. Ten years ago he started his career with the Blast on a 30-day contract. Now, it's a 15-day deal in Wichita.
It will be a fascinating couple of weeks. He begins work Friday, in a game in San Diego and winds up his contract with back-to-back games against the Blast: in Wichita, Feb. 23 and at the Baltimore Arena, Feb. 27.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in club history last season, the Blast cleaned house during the summer. Among those not re-signed was Manning. He had discussions with St. Louis several months ago, but nothing could be worked out.
All of which allowed him to be available when Turner called this week.
"Baltimore is my home and it always will be," Manning said. "There will always be an allegiance. But I'm very happy to be able to help Wichita. It's a win-win situation for me and for them."