Spirit will bring back Vaccaro and Christie Goalie-assistant coach signs two-year contract

August 13, 1996|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

The Spirit has signed two more players, one for his long-demonstrated defensive ability and the other for what general manager Drew Forrester hopes will be his "breakout season" offensively.

Goalie-assistant coach Cris Vaccaro, who will start his 17th pro indoor season when the Spirit opens its fifth National Professional Soccer League campaign the third week in October, signed for two years.

Jamie Christie, the Spirit's 1994-95 Rookie of the Year with 36 points and 30 goals, signed for one year. His production last season dropped to 16 points and five goals.

"This could be Jamie's breakout season," Forrester said. "We really need him to become more of an offensive threat, while maintaining his strong defensive style of play. He just needs to put more points on the board, and we think he's ready to do that."

Vaccaro and Christie will join player-coach Mike Stankovic and fellow returnees Barry Stitz, Jason Dieter, Lance Johnson, Ron Simmons and Bobby Joe Esposito and newcomer Branko Segota when training camp opens in mid-September. More players will be signed before then.

Vaccaro, 37, who posted a 14-5 record and a 10.08 goals-against average, was named the Spirit's Defensive Player of the Year for the third time. He won 10 of his last 11 decisions.

"The return of Cris for at least two more years gives the Spirit the NPSL's most experienced goalkeeping," Forrester said. "That's a very important step in our attempt to win the NPSL championship."

Pub Date: 8/13/96

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