Spirit, looking to lift offense, signs Esposito to 1-year deal

June 07, 1995|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

The Spirit has signed former Kansas City forward Bobby Joe Esposito to a one-year contract in the hope he will help boost the team past the first round of the playoffs next year.

Esposito, 30, played from 1989 to 1994 for the Attack, collecting 154 goals and 88 assists for 376 points in 149 games. He scored at least 100 points in three straight seasons, with 47 goals and 116 points, both career highs, in 1991-92.

The Spirit, eliminated the past three seasons in the first round of the National Professional Soccer League playoffs, is particularly interested in Esposito's playoff numbers -- 25 goals and 18 assists in 23 games. He scored 34 points in 10 playoff games when Kansas City won the NPSL title in 1993.

"History shows he's a good scorer," Spirit vice president Drew Forrester said. "In putting the right pieces together, we're looking for guys who produce in the playoffs as well as the regular season, and Esposito does both."

Esposito, a former Rutgers star, is returning after a year's hiatus from soccer, during which he worked for a financial services firm in New York City.

He could wind up on a line with Jeff Rogers, signed Monday, and Franklin McIntosh. The three played together on the Attack before it moved from Atlanta to Kansas City in 1991.

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