Spirit signs 3 more Baltimore natives Conway, Ascenzi, Reinhardt join team

November 03, 1992|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

The Baltimore Spirit added three more Baltimore natives to its roster yesterday, less than 24 hours after the team's 21-7 preseason win over Harrisburg.

Mike Conway, Roberto Ascenzi and Billy Reinhardt signed one-year contracts with an option year yesterday afternoon. All three participated in the open tryout Aug. 30 and were invited to the Spirit's preseason camp the past four weeks.

There are 16 players on the Spirit's roster; half are Baltimore natives.

"It's like a dream come true," said Ascenzi, a 1990 Archbishop Curley graduate who played for Essex Community College. "We all supported the Blast growing up, and we kind of adapted to the indoor game. When the MSL [Major Soccer League] folded, I was disappointed. But when there was still a chance to have soccer in Baltimore, I said to myself, 'I gotta have my shot at it.' "

Conway, a 1986 Cardinal Gibbons graduate who attended Essex and Catonsville community colleges, scored a goal 30 seconds after coming into the game.

Reinhardt, a 1989 graduate of Patterson High who attended Dundalk Community College, capitalized on a shootout opportunity and scored as well.

"It's pretty wild," said Conway, who grew up playing against most of his new teammates. "I scored a goal in the game, and then afterward they said they wanted to work out the details for a contract [Monday]."

Said Spirit coach Kenny Cooper: "They fit in with what we're trying to do, which is having a balance of young players and experienced players. Any time you can sign players from Baltimore it is a bonus."

The Spirit opens its regular season Friday night in Milwaukee and returns to the Baltimore Arena on Saturday night for its home opener against the Chicago Power.

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