Sound of music sours some ears around the league

Soccer

MISL notebook

November 15, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Football has the crunching sound that goes with a hard tackle. In baseball, it's the crack of the bat on a homer. Ice hockey has the ping of a slap shot off the post.

Professional indoor soccer? Often, it's loud music that can drown out the sounds of the game.

The Major Indoor Soccer League has guidelines as to when music is supposed to be played and for how long. During the flow of a game, the policy is to have only instrumental music played with a limit of 30 seconds on to every one minute off, but that's not always adhered to in some venues.

Some players and coaches are oblivious to the music, but others believe there's a proper time for it: timeouts, at the end of quarters, at halftime and just as the ball is being put back in play.

"I definitely think there's a place for music, not only in our game, but in sports," said Milwaukee Wave coach Keith Tozer. "But what happens is that sometimes there's so much music that it creates a different atmosphere in the stands."

"I would rather have the focus on someone coming to the arena to watch a great game of indoor soccer and to hear the sound effects: a ball off the glass, a ball ripping off the top of the crossbar, players and coaches communicating and yelling. There's nothing better than Hector Marinaro, Todd Dusosky or Denison Cabral starting a counterattack and hearing fans go, `Ahhh.' "

Blast coach Kevin Healey said music has long been a part of the indoor soccer experience, innovative during the old MISL of the 1980s, and a survey taken last year showed that fans still enjoy it.

"When I'm coaching, I don't hear it. But when I'm scouting a game and maybe with my family, we find it upbeat," he said. "There's a happy medium you have to find. You want it around, but you don't want to overdo it so you can't hear the sounds of the game."

Brian Fleming, the league's vice president of soccer operations, is visiting all six MISL arenas in the coming weeks and said one of the things he will be monitoring is the music situation.

Special night planned

The Blast will pay tribute to American veterans and also assist the victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy on Saturday night when the Philadelphia KiXX comes to Baltimore Arena. The home team will be wearing red, white and blue uniforms and conducting a silent auction for the game jerseys to be given out after the game.

Proceeds, along with proceeds from the sale of the "United We Stand" T-shirts, will go to the Firefighter, EMS and Rescue Workers Relief Fund to benefit the families of the rescue workers in New York and Washington.

All firefighters, police officers and any current or former member of the military can get into the game for $10 with proper ID.

Sloan, Petras honored

Philadelphia forward Kevin Sloan was named Offensive Player of the Week, with Harrisburg goalkeeper Doug Petras claiming defensive honors.

Sloan, a 10-year veteran from Columbia, recorded his third three-goal performance of the season with his six-point effort to lead the KiXX past Cleveland, 16-14, on Saturday. Petras led the Heat to its first win of the season on Saturday night, turning back 15 of 18 shots from visiting Kansas City for a 10-6 win.

Honorable mentions went to two Blast players -- midfielder Paul Wright on offense and goalkeeper Scott Hileman on defense.

Deal with Spalding

The league signed a multi-year deal with Spalding Sports Worldwide. It has named Spalding the "official ball of the MISL" and has added the Spalding Scoring Champion Award presented to the regular-season scoring champion.

Larkin shaken up

Cleveland goalkeeper Jim Larkin will miss tomorrow night's game against Harrisburg because of a sprained shoulder suffered in a collision with Philadelphia's 6-foot-7, 265-pound Shawn Boney on Saturday. The keeper's description of the play made the quote sheet of the league's weekly report: "I could feel the ground shaking when he came in," he said.

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