Spirit drafts 9 pros, 5 college players

September 15, 1992|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

The Baltimore Spirit selected nine players in the National Professional Soccer League's expansion draft yesterday in Buffalo, N.Y., and another five in the league's college draft.

Among the college players drafted were Jason Dieter, the UMBC player who was the first player signed by the Spirit, Loyola College defender Tom Donahue and Howard University goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.

In the expansion pool, former Major Soccer League fans should be familiar with at least two of the players picked. Forward Bobby Joe Esposito played in both Cleveland and Los Angeles in the MSL, before joining Kansas City in the NPSL, and de

fender Chris Duke played two seasons for the old Kansas City Comets, before joining the NPSL's K.C. Attack.

"We picked an even mix of forwards and defenders," said Spirit coach Kenny Cooper. "In some of our prior research and NPSL scouting, we saw several of these players and were impressed with their ability."

Cooper said he is excited to add the veterans, four of whom finished last season in the NPSL with 100 or more points. Esposito, with 115 points, was the league's 13th leading scorer, while Denver forward Roger Chavez had 109 points, and Dayton midfielder Fahmi El-Shami and Denver midfielder Nassim Olabi each scored 100 points.

The selection of these players does not guarantee any of them a Spirit roster spot, though the Spirit does have the opportunity to sign each of them by renewing their contracts from last season. The college draft choices also will have to earn a roster spot when camp opens next month.

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