Parry, Hunjak switch continues to pay dividends for Spirit, Attack @

January 27, 1995|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

No one will be wearing any name tags and most of the faces won't have aged, but tonight's meeting between the Baltimore Spirit and the Kansas City Attack will be a reunion for Goran Hunjak and Jon Parry.

Hunjak, who played the past two years for the Spirit, enters tonight's National Professional Soccer League matchup at the Baltimore Arena as Kansas City's scoring leader with 116 points in 25 games.

Parry, who was fifth in the NPSL with a career-high 72 goals last season for the Attack, will face his former teammates as the Spirit's second-leading point-getter with 77.

So far, this rendition of "Trading Places" is having a happy ending for all parties involved.

"Baltimore was looking for a goal scorer and I put up some pretty big numbers the last couple of years in Kansas City and that's why I came here," said Parry, whose numbers would be even better had he not rolled his ankle in a game against Canton, forcing him to sit out three games and ending his consecutive-games streak at 103.

"The fans in Baltimore are tough and they will boo you and I wasn't used to that," he said, "but they want a winner and who can blame them."

After a slow start with Kansas City, Hunjak has adapted to the Attack's more deliberate style of play, and his numbers and the team's record have improved dramatically. With Tuesday's 19-11 win over Buffalo, which featured eight points by Hunjak, the Attack improved its record to 17-8 and closed to within two games of St. Louis in the National Division race.

"Goran is doing everything we ask of him and he's really starting to fit in very well with the nucleus of our team," said Kansas City coach Zoran Savic, whose team missed the playoffs last season after winning the championship the year before.

"He plays good on both sides of the ball and he's very creative, offensively," Savic said. "I was looking for a consistent goal scorer who would play aggressive defense and Goran fits that description perfectly."

Hunjak, who scored 11 points for Baltimore in its 17-12 win over Kansas City last January, says he misses Baltimore and his "best buddy" Mike Stankovic, but he has no reservations about moving to the more-spacious Kemper Arena.

"Kansas City's arena has a bigger field and a different system than Baltimore, but I like it because it keeps everyone involved and it gives you a chance to be more creative and use more of your skills," said Hunjak, who led the Spirit in scoring with 141 points in 1992-93 and was second on the team last season with 106.

"In a smaller arena like Baltimore," he said, "you have to depend on a lot of fast breaks and you take a lot of shots, but playing in a bigger arena you have to make neater passes and be more creative. It's a more relaxing style and it took me a while to get used to but I like it because it fits my style and lets me be myself."

Savic, who coached both Hunjak and Parry, believes Hunjak is a better fit for his team.

"When Jon gets the ball, he wants to go toward the goal but Goran is different," he said. "Goran is the type of player who plays according to the situation and that suits the way we play."

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