Smaller APSL prepares for 4th season


Eight teams, including the Maryland Bays, will compete in a fourth American Professional Soccer League season this year.

The APSL owners finalized plans for a fourth season at league meetings yesterday and Saturday in Florida.

The APSL lost 15 teams from last season and most likely would have folded if another team had departed.

In addition to the defending champion Bays, the Miami Freedom, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Penn-Jersey Spirit, Albany Capitals, Colorado Foxes and San Francisco Bay Blackhawks are committed to the 1991 season, which will begin the first weekend in May.

Last season, the APSL had two divisions: the 11-team Western Soccer League and the 12-team American Soccer League, which included the Bays. This season, all teams will compete in a one-division APSL.

The Salt Lake City Sting, which averaged 5,000 fans last season but is going through an ownership change, will decide in two weeks whether it will compete in the APSL.

"Our entire front office has been working hard in the community to prepare for the 1991 season," Bays owner John Liparini said. "We had standing-room only crowds for the last four games [at 4,000-seat Cedar Lane Park in Columbia] last season and want to see it continue this season."

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