Spirit owner selling his company, but keeping team

June 18, 1993|By Kim Clark | Kim Clark,Staff Writer

Baltimore Spirit owner Bill Stealey will resign as president and chief executive of MicroProse, which is expected to merge with a California computer software company, but the move won't have any bearing on the indoor soccer team.

Stealey said he has no plans to sell the Spirit. In fact, he says he will become even more involved with the team now that he is no longer associated with Hunt Valley-based MicroProse, which he co-founded 11 years ago.

"Basically I'll have more time to be a pain in the neck [for Kenny Cooper, Spirit coach, president and general manager]," Stealey said. "The business people of Baltimore better be ready. I am going to ask them all to be sponsors."

While he will lose control of day-to-day operations, Stealey, who owns a majority of the company's shares, said he expects to be the largest stockholder in the new company, which would keep the name MicroProse.

Stealey bought the Spirit in July 1992. The National Professional Soccer League team finished first in its division with a 27-13 record last season, its first in the NPSL.

"Retirement is not going to be too bad for a week or two," Stealey said. "Then Kenny Cooper has to get me an office."

Yesterday, the Spirit traded for St. Louis Ambush forward Dan O'Keefe, the NPSL's all-time leading goal-scorer.

In return, the Spirit sent the Ambush defender Steve Boardman and draft picks in 1993 and 1994.

O'Keefe, 32, has 311 goals and is second all-time in NPSL points with 571. He scored 60 goals for the Ambush last season. Boardman, 30, played in 39 games with the Spirit and scored 18 goals. His 55 points made him the team's leading defensive scorer last season.

"I've heard a lot of great things about Baltimore and enjoyed playing in their arena last season," O'Keefe said. "They've told me they're looking for offensive help and I think my records will show I've always been able to score."

Cooper said: "We feel like this is a major boost to our offense. We've been trying to add a few players with scoring punch. . . . It's tough to lose Steve Boardman, but this was a deal that both teams needed to make.

"We needed offense, and St. Louis wanted defensive help."

TOP NPSL SCORERS

Dan O'Keefe, acquired by the Spirit from the St. Louis Ambush in a trade yesterday, is the all-time leading goal-scorer in the NPSL. The top five:

Player.. .. .. .. .. .. .. Goals

Dan O'Keefe.. .. .. .. .. 311

Rudy Pikuzinski .. .. .. ..261

Kia .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..257

Art Kramer .. .. .. .. .. .252

Zoran Savic .. .. .. .. .. 228

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