Sidekicks' Doc still is unwilling to make Blast house call


The trade that was halted yesterday remains on hold today.

That's how Blast coach Kenny Cooper described the hoped-for deal with Dallas that would have brought defender Doc Lawson here for midfielder Richard Chinapoo.

Cooper had hoped to work out the trade to bolster his defense, which is giving up a Major Soccer League-high 222 goals, an average of six per game.

Lawson, who plays exceptionally well against the big power offensive players like Kansas City's Jan Goossens and Cleveland's Zoran Karic, was ready to come, until he heard Dallas had asked for his best friend, Chinapoo, in the deal.

Chinapoo said last night he had nothing to do with the trade being halted. He said he is resigned to playing for Dallas if the deal is made. But he did admit that he realizes Lawson is unwilling to complete the deal because he knows Chinapoo wants to finish his career in Baltimore.

Lawson can veto the deal, because according to MSL rules a player who has been with the same club for three seasons prior to a trade during a regular season can nix it. Lawson, a 13-year veteran and the last of the MSL's original signees, has been with the Sidekicks since the franchise was established in 1985.

"If they make the deal, then I have to go," said Chinapoo, 34, who returned to the Blast this season, after spending the last two in Dallas. "But I'm not going to just say I'll go. I talked to Gordon [Dallas coach Gordon Jago] and he said, financially, they can't offer anything [special]. And if he can't do that, why should I just say OK? Why should I? There are 15 games left in this season. Why should I do that to my wife and kids?

"I'm at the point, where I'd almost rather say forget it and just please myself and go on. I'm not young anymore. I don't know how many more years I have to play. It's not money, really. It's my kids, man. It's my kids. Every time I go on a road trip, my son, it's 'Daddy, why do you have to leave? When are you coming back?' It's tough on me."

He said he understands the business side of the game, that Blast coach Kenny Cooper "wants to win a championship, that it is his job to win a championship, that he wants to keep his job and keep his family here."

Chinapoo wants that, too. What he doesn't want is to go back to Dallas.

"Whatever happens, happens," he said. "I'll make the best of the situation. Doc and I spoke. I told him, 'Doc, if you want to do it, it's your decision and I have no control over it.' We're like brothers, man. And if I was in Doc's position, maybe I'd do what he is doing. I appreciate that. I am very happy to know I have a friend like that.

"It's just the way it is. He's [Cooper] trying to do his job. He is trying to help the team. He thinks he needs a solid veteran defender who can match up with Karic, Goossens and [Branko] Segota. If I was in his position, I might do the same thing and if Doc is the one, Doc is the one."

But Lawson evidently doesn't intend to do in his friend.

"It's on hold," Cooper said, and that's fine with him as long as the Blast plays like it did last night in a 6-0 shutout of Tacoma. "I want Lawson as an insurance policy, but tonight we got it done. But we got it done as a team. If we played like this every night, we wouldn't be in the position of talking about a trade. We've been giving up six goals a game, in this game we erased them, made them disappear. Wonderful."

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