Lead scorer McIntosh suspended for final 2 regular-season games Missed practice session draws penalty from team

Spirit notebook

March 22, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

If the Spirit is going to win one of its last two regular-season games, it's going to have to do it without its leading scorer.

Franklin McIntosh, the NPSL's all-time scoring leader, was givena two-game suspension yesterday by Spirit player/coach Mike Stankovic for failing to report to yesterday morning's practice session at Du Burns Arena.

"I'm left with no option but to suspend Franklin for this weekend," said Stankovic, whose team could clinch second place in the American Division by winning one of its last two games. "The team will go to St. Louis and Kansas City without him.

"There are rules on this team that must be followed by every player and I can't accept any player taking it upon himself to decide which rules apply to him and which rules don't."

McIntosh, who served a one-game suspension last November for yelling obscenities at then-head coach Dave MacWilliams, was still in California yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

Spirit general manager Drew Forrester, who considered trading McIntosh after the first incident on Nov. 18, supported Stankovic's decision.

"Franklin has known for more than a week that he was due back in Baltimore today," said Forrester. "It's unfortunate that at a critical time in the season something like this has to happen, but Mike establishes the rules and the players are expected to follow them."

Playoff picture

Regardless of its opponent, the Spirit will open the National Professional Soccer League 1995-96 American Division playoffs at home Thursday.

Baltimore will play host to either Harrisburg or the Buffalo Blizzard at 7: 35 Thursday night at the Baltimore Arena. Buffalo could finish in third with two wins this weekend.

Here are the playoff series dates and possible scenarios:

If Baltimore finishes second and Harrisburg finishes third: Game 1 Harrisburg at Spirit, Thursday, 7: 35 p.m.; Game 2 Spirit at Harrisburg, April 1, 7: 05; Game 3 (if necessary) Harrisburg at Baltimore, April 2, 7: 35.

If the Spirit finishes second and Buffalo finishes third: Game 1 Buffalo at Spirit, Thursday, 7: 35 p.m.; Game 2 Spirit at Buffalo, March 30, 7: 05; Game 3 (if necessary) Buffalo at Baltimore, April 2, 7: 35.

If Baltimore finishes third and Harrisburg finishes second: Game 1 Harrisburg at Spirit, Thursday, 7: 35 p.m.; Game 2 Spirit at Harrisburg, April 2, 7: 05; Game 3 (if necessary) Baltimore at Harrisburg, April 3, 7: 05.

For tickets for the Spirit home playoff game against Harrisburg or Buffalo, call the Spirit ticket office at (410) 625-2320. Tickets for all nine possible home playoff games are on sale at the Arena Box Office, all Hecht Co. stores or by calling (410) 481-SEAT. Seats are priced at $18, $16 and $13.

Silent auction set

Cris Vaccaro announced yesterday that he will be conducting a silent auction during Baltimore's first playoff game Thursday at Baltimore Arena.

The Spirit goalkeeper will donate 15 of his game jerseys for auction and all proceeds will be donated to a 12-year-old bone marrow transplant patient in Vaccaro's home state of New Jersey.

The young man has played soccer with Vaccaro's 11-year-old son, David, in Winslow Township, N.J.

Pub Date: 3/22/96

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