Owner glad he joined with Bays

March 29, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

When Baltimore Bays general manager Ben Neil began assembling an investment group to finance the proposed new team back in November 1992, he knew exactly whom to call -- his college pal, Bill Wallace.

"Bill was the first guy I approached, and he was positive then and is positive now. He's the oil that makes the Bays run," Neil said.

The Bays, who recently completed their first indoor season in the U.S. Interregional Soccer League, are gearing up for the start of their second outdoor season April 23.

Wallace, 45, is the team's principal owner. In the Bays mix, he covers the business end, coach Kevin Healey handles the on-the-field decisions and Neil takes care of most of the stuff in between.

"I didn't know anything about soccer but what I absorbed watching my children play," Wallace said. "People who play the game are a different breed. They're doing it for the love of the game, and that says a lot about the credibility of the sport." Wallace owns Action Business Systems, which sells copiers, fax machines and office automation equipment. He balked the first time Neil asked him about investing in a soccer team in the proposed Arena League.

"And then Ben approached me with the USISL format, and it made a lot of sense," Wallace said. "What impressed me most was the youth to pro concept and community outreach approach. That became our philosophy."

The USISL was founded in 1986 as an indoor league. It began with five teams and has expanded to an outdoor league with 72 teams.

The name Bays stands for Baltimore Area Youth Soccer. Of the 23 players on the team's roster, 17 are from the Baltimore area.


April 23 at Columbia 7:30

April 24 at Charleston 2

April 29 at Washington 8

April 30 at Hampton Roads 7:30

May 7 Richmond 7:30

May 20 at Philadelphia 8

May 28 Charleston 7:30

June 4 Greensboro 7:30

June 10 at Charlotte 8

June 11 at Raleigh 7:30

June 18 Charlotte 7:30

June 25 Raleigh 7:30

June 26 South Florida 2

July 1 Washington 8

July 2 Columbia 7:30

July 9 at Greensboro 7:30

July 15 at Detroit 8

July 17 Philadelphia 2

July 22 Hampton Roads 8

Note: Home games at UMBC. For ticket information, call (410) 682-2222.

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