Blast, Dallas near deal on Chinapoo, Lawson


The Baltimore Blast is close to completing a trade that will send midfielder Richard Chinapoo to the Dallas Sidekicks for five-time All-Star defender Doc "The Indoor Warrior" Lawson, said Blast coach Kenny Cooper yesterday.

Cooper said the only thing holding up the official announcement of the deal is Chinapoo's desire for certain "considerations" from the Sidekicks to compensate financially for his move to Dallas.

According to Cooper, Chinapoo, 34, and Dallas coach Gordon Jago were talking yesterday in an attempt to come to a agreement that will send Chinapoo back to the team he played with the past two seasons.

Cooper said he hoped the deal would be completed today or ithe next couple of days.

"I want Doc to join us in time for the road trip to San Diego and Tacoma [Saturday and Sunday]," Cooper said. "We still have a chance to win the pennant [Major Soccer League Eastern

Division title]. I've seen enough [of the Blast defense]. We can't wait. We couldn't stop Kansas City's Jan Goossens [three goals and one assist in a 7-6 victory over Blast Feb. 10]. Doc stops Goossens, he stops Zoran Karic [Cleveland Crunch forward] and he stops Branko Segota [San Diego Sockers midfielder]."

Lawson, 33, has played in more games (462) than any player in the history of the MSL and is the only player who has played in all 13 MSL seasons.

Lawson has played for the Cincinnati Kids, the PhiladelphiFever, New York Arrows, New York Cosmos and the past five years for the Sidekicks.

Cooper said Baltimore (18-18) no longer can rely on seven-timAll-Star defender Bruce Savage to carry the bulk of the defensive load every game.

"We can't put pressure on Bruce every game," Cooper said"Doc can come in and mark the big and strong defenders like Goossens. He's intelligent, he doesn't miss games, he's smooth, he doesn't back down from anyone, he has a good shot, a tremendous attitude and is a great competitor."

Lawson is a close friend of Chinapoo and at first balked at thtrade because he didn't want to be part of a deal that would upset Chinapoo.

Chinapoo has said often this season that he wants to finish hicareer with the Blast since he has a home in Baltimore.

But Cooper said that Lawson is ready to come to Baltimore anthere will be no problems reaching a contract agreement with him.

Blast tonight

Opponent: Tacoma Stars

Site: Baltimore Arena, 7:05 p.m.

Radio: WCAO (600 AM)

Tickets: 4,000 remaining

Outlook: Baltimore ended a three-game losing streak with a 9-6 victory over the Dallas Sidekicks Saturday night. M Billy Ronson (3 goals, 1 assist), M Tim Wittman (2 goals, 2 assists), F Dale Mitchell (2 goals, 2 assists) and M Mike Stankovic (2 goals, 1 assist) led the Blast. Wittman has 99 goals and 12 assists in the past 13 games. Tacoma has cooled off after a 9-5 start and slipped to 500 (18-18) Saturday night with a 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Crunch. Tacoma leads the season series, 3-1.

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