Spirit scores Harbor, Gyau

September 22, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

Hours before training camp opened yesterday, the Spirit took steps to reinforce the depleted offense.

The Spirit signed Jean Harbor and Philip Gyau, both former Maryland Bays who are playing for the Montreal Impact of the outdoor American Professional Soccer League. Harbor, 29, and Gyau, 28, are offensive players who work well together.

"Jean is one of the top scoring threats in American outdoor soccer," said Spirit coach Dave MacWilliams after the club's opening 1 3/4 -hour workout at Du Burns Arena. "Philip has always played well alongside Jean. They represent a dangerous one-two scoring combination."

Of the Spirit's top six scorers last season, only Tarik Walker is definitely returning. Paul Wright, Goran Hunjak, Rusty Troy and Dan O'Keefe will not be back and Clark Brisson expects to be traded.

Montreal is in third place in the APSL with 10 days of the regular season remaining. If the Impact makes the playoffs and reaches the final, it could be mid-October before Harbor and Gyau report. The Spirit opens its third National Professional Soccer League season Oct. 21.

Harbor's only previous indoor experience was a season (1991-92) with the Blast of the old Major Soccer League, when he had 14 goals and seven assists in 31 games. He played outdoors with the U.S. team and the APSL's Tampa Bay Rowdies and Bays.

"He's a great finisher," MacWilliams said. "He's a target man, a guy who can hold the ball, score and create chances for other people when his back is to the goal.

"When he was with the Bays and I was coaching the Penn-Jersey Spirit, we always had our hands full. It was like a man against boys."

Gyau never has played indoor pro soccer, although he trained with the Blast on several occasions in the late 1980s and was about to sign in 1990 when he joined the U.S. team.

"He had tremendous years in the APSL," MacWilliams said. "I have no doubt he can adapt to indoor soccer."

Tim Wittman, the Spirit's 13-year indoor veteran, says the addition of Harbor and Gyau will make the Spirit the fastest team in the NPSL.

"Harbor's a forward who can really hit a ball," Wittman said. "They're pure offensive players; you won't see them going up and down the floor 100 miles an hour. Younger guys can do the leg work; Harbor and Gyau have the ability up front."

NOTES: Wittman, coming back from major knee surgery, breezed through the first workout without a hitch. "Usually the first two or three weeks I was sore all over because I hadn't done anything for four or five months," he said. "But after the surgery I had to stretch, do weights and climb stairs, and I'm not sore at all." . . . Honeymooning Jason Dieter will report Monday. . . . Vince Moskunas missed the workout because of a job conflict. . . . The only casualty was Billy Reinhardt (sprained ankle).

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