Spirit takes long look at 32 invitees Team may add 6-8 players from camp tryout list and foreign prospects

September 14, 1996|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

The Spirit will begin training camp for its fifth National Professional Soccer League season with a new wrinkle.

From a list of more than 100 applicants, the Spirit invited 32 to audition for coaches Mike Stankovic and Cris Vaccaro and general manager Drew Forrester in a three-day, closed-to-the-public tryout starting Monday at the Baltimore Arena.

Twelve of the 32 will be kept for further evaluation during the next phase of camp from Thursday until the Oct. 19 opener here against the Tampa Bay Terror.

With 10 veterans signed, the Spirit has six to eight roster openings. Not all will be filled by players from the tryout; some foreigners possibly will get spots. Stankovic has been in Croatia the past three weeks, conducting four tryouts with the hope of finding two useful players.

"Branko has spent the summer there identifying prospects for Mike," said Forrester, referring to Branko Segota, the veteran indoor star who was signed by the Spirit in May. "We'd like to keep what we can of our nucleus, but we've got to find some

new people."

The Spirit has only 10 returnees in part because Kevin Sloan, John Garvey and Dave Vaudreuil, last season's second-, fourth- and fifth-leading scorers, respectively, favor Major League Soccer.

Garvey (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Vaudreuil (D.C. United) are under contract until Nov. 30. Although Sloan, who played this summer for the Carolina Dynamo of the U.S. Interregional Soccer League, hasn't caught on with an MLS team, he still wants to.

Franklin McIntosh, the Spirit's leading scorer who was suspended for last season's playoffs by Stankovic and Forrester for missing a key practice and lack of commitment, will not be back.

No. 7 scorer Jason Maricle has a vinyl sign production business with his brother-in-law in Tulsa, Okla., and won't be available until midseason, and Brad Smith, coming off knee surgery, is dissatisfied with the Spirit's offers.

Next week's tryout list is headed by draftees Todd Hicks (Towson State), goalie James Eley (South Carolina-Spartanburg) and Tim Averell (Muhlenberg).

Other candidates include locals J.J. Kremer (UMBC), Ed Quick (Calvert Hall), Michael Henning (Towson High, Randolph Macon), Michael Valcourt (Catonsville CC), Dan Santoro (Franklin High) and Albert Oni (UMBC).

Pub Date: 9/14/96

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