Don't bother to ask coach Dave MacWilliams who is the Spirit's No. 1 goalie. There isn't one. At least, not at the moment.
Joe Mallia? Cris Vaccaro? They're sharing the job.
In tonight's game against the Milwaukee Wave at the Baltimore Arena, Mallia will start. In tomorrow night's against the Cincinnati Silverbacks, also at the Arena, it'll be Vaccaro.
"Both are playing well, so they'll rotate every other game as long as they're successful," MacWilliams said. "This will keep both fresh. To sit either one down would be an injustice to the other. That is, unless one isn't playing well or one plays better against a certain team."
Mallia got the jump on Vaccaro when the 16-year indoor veteran missed the first three games with a strained elbow. Mallia, in his fifth year, won those and is 4-1 now. Vaccaro is 2-1.
"In the past, Cris took on 80 to 85 percent of the burden," MacWilliams said. "It's tough indoors to do that. Mental as well as physical fatigue sets in."
Even last season, when he missed time with injuries, Vaccaro played more than Mallia, posting a 9-11 record. Mallia was 12-5, ++ and both had points-against averages of 14-plus.
Mallia, 26, sounds lukewarm about sharing the job.
"It's fine -- for now," he said. "Dave has to have the opportunity to see who he's going to go to, me or Cris. I just hope it comes to the point where the decision is in my favor. Cris had injuries early on and needs time to get into game shape. He seems to be there now."
Eventually, MacWilliams could be coping with a goalie controversy. He might have to determine if Vaccaro, at 37, is losing his edge.
"I'd like to be at the point where I'm playing a game a week," said Mallia, noting that he can't do that with a 50-50 split with Vaccaro since the Spirit's 40-game regular season covers 25 weeks. "Of course, Cris feels that way, too. It'll work itself out."
All that matters to MacWilliams is that both goalies are playing well, sparing him a controversy.
Opponent: Milwaukee Wave
Site: Baltimore Arena
Radio: WWLG (1360 AM)
Outlook: The Wave, second in the NPSL's National Division, is playing its only game here this season. Franklin McIntosh, the Spirit's leading scorer with 42 points, is five shy of becoming the first player in NPSL history to reach 900. Milwaukee's Michael King is No. 13 in the league with 33 points and the leading scorer in Wave history with 377. The Spirit released Pete Schneiders, a rookie from Philadelphia. The Spirit's Bobby Joe Esposito is questionable (strained hip flexor) and Zak Ibsen is probable (bruised knee).