Maybe it's fitting, that on the day the Major Soccer League All-Stars arrived here for the midseason showcase that honors the league's best players, one of the most successful goalkeepers in Blast and MSL history found work.
Former Blast keeper Scott Manning signed a 15-day deal with the Wichita Wings yesterday, ending a strange winter of MSL inactivity.
"You don't play in one city for 10 years and just pick up and play somewhere else without it feeling funny," said Manning, 34. "It's almost like rooting against the Orioles."
Wichita coach Roy Turner said Saturday night, after his starting keeper Kris Peat suffered a strained anterior capsule tendon in his leftarm, that his first choice as a replacement was Manning.
"I'm delighted to get a goalkeeper of Scott's caliber," said Turner.
Peat is expected to be out three to four weeks.
Turner said Manning could earn a spot for the season.
"He knows he has a chance to play for a [championship] ring," Turner said. "Right now, we need him for an extended period of time. At this point, nobody knows about Kris. And, yes, it is possible that we could carry two keepers."
Manning will get a chance to play against the Blast twice before his contract is up. The Blast plays in Wichita on Feb. 23, and the Wings come to Baltimore on Feb. 27.
Last season, the Blast missed the
playoffs for the first time in franchise history and management cleaned house. Manning was not re-signed. He has spent this fall as an assistant coach at Loyola College and has returned to graduate school.
New all-stars: The East squad took on a more familiar look to Blast fans yesterday, when former Blast and now Dallas midfielder Richard Chinapoo and current Blast forward Rod Castro were added. They replace Dallas defenders Wes McLeod (strained calf muscle) and Troy Snyder (deep shin bruise), who are unable to play. Chinapoo, who was not re-signed by the Blast this season, is having one of his best offensive seasons, with 20 goals and 10 assists. Castro, who joined the Blast from San Diego last summer, is the Blast's second leading point scorer, 13 goals and 18 assists.