Next stop? Foreman to update owners on expansion plans

The Major Soccer League's board of directors will hear an update on expansion today from commissioner Earl Foreman at the annual league meetings that began in Kansas City, Mo., this morning. It is one of the more important things on the minds of both current and prospective owners, as everyone waits to learn what the league will charge in expansion fees.

Foreman has been working on Buffalo and Pittsburgh, two former members, as possible MSL additions, and the league's eight owners are anxious to find out how close expansion really is.


Pittsburgh businessman and prospective owner Bernie Mullins is expected to be on site in Kansas City, but it is believed he will only present a draft of his proposal for joining and ask what else he has to do to complete his application.

* ALL-STAR INJURIES: Already St. Louis midfielder Claudio De Oliveira (knee surgery) is out of the East lineup, replaced by his Storm teammate forward Godfrey Ingram. Now comes word that Kansas City's All-Star defenders Kim Roentved (fluid on his left knee) and Iain Fraser (bruised right Achilles' heel), who did not play in yesterday's game here in Baltimore, are questionable.


Blast coach Kenny Cooper, who will direct the East squad, said he will talk with Roentved and Fraser today and if he has to make a change he "probably" will pick replacements from either Kansas City or Wichita.

"We [the Blast] already have five players in the game and I think that is the league limit from any one team," Cooper said.

* FIRST TO 20: San Diego goalkeeper Victor Nogueira (20-12, 4.59 goals-against average) last night became the first 20-game winner in the league, with an 8-2 victory against Wichita. The victory moves the Sockers (20-13) into a first-place tie with St. Louis in the West.

Nogueira made 16 saves on 25 shots, while his teammates scored seven unanswered goals over the second and third quarters.

Paul Wright and Waad Hirmez each had two goals for the Sockers, and Brian Quinn and Branko Segota, who has 14 goals this season and 25 points in the last 15 games, had a goal and an assist.

* WHAT'S THAT SOUND? The Cleveland Crunch rolling through the MSL. With yesterday's 7-5 victory at Tacoma, the Crunch has won four in a row and eight of its last 10 games. The result is that it is within a game of the second-place Blast.

Leading the way for Cleveland yesterday was Zoran Karic, with four goals.

* LEAGUE-WIDE PAYDAY: The Leaf Corp., which has been using the Blast as a test franchise for promoting its candy this season, is expected to announce at the league meetings that it will become an official sponsor league-wide.


This week, the player of the week awards were officially named for Leaf products: The Payday Offensive Player of the Week, and the Jolly Rancher Defender of the Week.