Todd Haskins, a high school soccer standout during the late 1980s who most recently has been playing pro beach soccer, is the first signee of the new Maryland Mania, which begins A-League play in April.
The signing of Haskins, 26, who grew up in Columbia, to a one-year deal for undisclosed terms was announced last night.
He seems likely to be a midfielder for the Columbia-based entry in pro soccer's top minor league.
The Mania, negotiating with others as well, is expected to sign as many as eight or nine players with Maryland ties. The team will play its home games at UMBC in Catonsville.
After being named both Parade magazine and Gatorade national high school Player of the Year at Howard High School in 1989, Haskins went on to play four years at the University of North Carolina.
In 1989, the Lions (16-0-1) were top ranked in metro Baltimore and shared the state Class 3A title with Wheaton's Kennedy High. Haskins also played for the Under-16 national team for two years while in high school.
"I'm excited, really excited. I just wish we were playing already," said Haskins, who since college has been trying to find a spot in pro ball.
The Columbus Crew drafted Haskins in Major League Soccer's inaugural, 1996 season, but he did not make the team. His resume includes two seasons with the then semi-pro Raleigh (N.C.) Flyers while in college, one indoor season with the defunct Washington Warthogs, and an attempt this January to play in Holland with AZ-Alkmaar.
But that did not work out, and he got another indoor position in Baton Rouge, La., in the Eastern Indoor Soccer League.
Pub Date: 12/09/98