New league may name 5th member

pro soccer

Team expected to join Blast, 3 others after Sharks' exit

October 30, 2008|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Special to The Baltimore Sun

The new National Indoor Soccer League is expected to announce the addition of a fifth member today or tomorrow in the wake of the Orlando Sharks' sudden withdrawal from the league last week.

"There is some intrigue unfolding," Blast owner Ed Hale said. "A couple things have to happen, and it involves a lot of personalities. We're looking at adding another team. I'm waiting for some phone calls to firm it up."

Blast general manager Kevin Healey retracted a statement that a new franchise was unlikely as the standing four league franchises prepared to discuss the composition of a revised schedule.

"I said that was a remote possibility, but now there is a better possibility," Healey said.

Speculation is centering on Springfield (Mass.) to join the Blast, Rockford (Ill.) Rampage, Monterrey La Raza and Philadelphia KiXX.

Orlando suspended operations three weeks before regular-season play was to have begun, citing the inadequacy of arena dates as the primary reason. Sharks management was wary of problems that would cause in only the second year of the franchise, which averaged a league-low 1,720 fans last season.

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