Two of the top players in the history of the now-defunct Maryland Bays will play for the Tampa Bay Rowdies this summer in the five-team American Professional Soccer League. A third Bays standout is expected to sign with the Rowdies this week.
Shalia Kurts, Rowdies executive secretary, said yesterday that former Bays Phillip Gyau, the 1990 American Soccer League most valuable player, and Kevin Sloan, who was third in the 1991 APSL MVP voting, have signed contracts with Tampa Bay.
Kurts said the Rowdies expect to come to terms with the 1991 APSL MVP Jean Harbor by the end of the week.
Harbor had 17 goals and 11 assists for the Bays (19-2) last season, and is scheduled to join the U.S. national soccer team for workouts as soon as the paperwork is completed for his U.S. citizenship.
Harbor and Sloan are playing their first seasons with the Blast of the Major Soccer League, and have come on strong lately. Harbor has seven goals and four assists, and Sloan has seven goals and two assists for the Blast.
Harbor said he preferred not to talk about his signing with the Rowdies until "after I finish with the Blast this season. I'm concentrating on helping the Blast make the playoffs."
Harbor said he has also talked to the Colorado Foxes and Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the APSL and the Montreal Supra of the Canadian Soccer League about the possibility of signing with those clubs.
Sloan, who had 14 goals and four assists for the Bays in 1991, said he chose to play for Tampa Bay because it is a solid franchise.
"You know you'll get your paycheck," said Sloan. "It's a solid club; your check won't bounce. Also the fact that Phillip will be there and Jean will probably be coming down will make it nice for me."
Tampa Bay is one of five teams that survived from last year's nine-team league. The Salt Lake Sting folded during the season and the Bays, Albany Capitals and Penn-Jersey Spirit went under after the season.
Gyau had 11 goals and six assists in 1990 when he was named the ASL MVP. The Bays went on to defeat the Western Soccer League champion San Francisco Bay Blackhawks for the 1990 APSL title. Gyau and Sloan played all four seasons for the Bays, and Harbor played two seasons.