There will be only one American Soccer League team in the Baltimore-Washington area next season -- the Maryland Bays.
Yesterday, the Bays, American Professional Soccer League champions, and the Washington Stars merged, and the Washington Diplomats folded. The new franchise, which will continue to play its home games at Cedar Lane Park in Columbia, still will be known as the Maryland Bays.
The team will be governed by a three-man board of directors, John Koskinen and Gordon Bradley, owners of the Stars, and John Liparini, owner of the Bays. Koskinen will serve as chairman the board, and Liparini will be president and general manager. Pete Caringi will continue as the team's head coach.
Caringi, who, in his first year as head coach of the Bays, led to the team to the ASL and the APSL championships, said: "It will give the people in the Baltimore-Washington area one team to identify with now that the Diplomats have folded. There will also be a much larger player pool now available in the area -- both professional and players coming out of college -- and this should make us an even stronger team next year than we were during our championship season."
Players from the Stars will be available to the Bays, and players from the Diplomats will be available to everyone in the ASL. Among those on the Stars, who played their home games last year at W.T. Woodson High School's stadium in Fairfax, Va., who could help the Bays are midfielders Bruce Murray, who played for the U.S. national team, and Roy Davies, defender Bruce Heon and striker Scott Snyder. The Diplomats, who played their home games in RFK Stadium in Washington, were made up mostly of Latin-American players, and most have left the country. One local Diplomats player the Bays have an interest in is goalie Warren Westcoat of Severna Park.