Covered for Blast tryouts, Bays warm to indoor game Agreement reached on injury protection


Midfielder Kevin Sloan is darting all over the field, making nice touch passes and showing that he has a knack for indoor soccer.

Goalkeeper Steve Powers is bouncing around the net, trying to stop the deflections, rebounds and hard shots.

And in the stands there is more talk about flashy forward Jean Harbor's coming to camp tomorrow and displaying his outdoor skills inside.

Baltimore Blast coach Kenny Cooper said yesterday that he and Harbor would meet tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. and complete plans for Harbor to work out with the team at 10 o'clock. Cooper said Harbor "wants to visit with us" before he practices.

Yes, the Maryland Bays have arrived in Blast training camp, and both organizations supposedly are on the same page.

Bays players say they feel comfortable trying out for the Blast. They say they will be covered in case they are injured while working out with the Major Soccer League team.

That is a change from last week, when Bays midfielder John Abe said he was asked to sign a waiver relieving the Blast of responsibility in case he was hurt while competing for a spot on the team. Abe left Blast camp after one day.

"There's been an arrangement between the two teams," Drew Forrester, Blast vice president of soccer operations, said yesterday.

Powers said: "Kevin and I are being given a fair shot to make the team. I'm getting to face a lot of shots in the net, and Kevin is getting a lot of work in the midfield."

Powers, 27, and Sloan, 25, have finished three days of workouts, and tomorrow Cooper will tell them if they've made the team.

"We have some spots left," said Cooper, who seemed to indicate that Sloan had a better shot than Powers because the Blast may keep only one goalkeeper (Cris Vaccaro).

Also, Cooper said it is tougher for a goalkeeper than for a field player to adjust from the outdoor to the indoor game.

Powers, a Maryland alumnus, never has played indoor soccer on a regular basis.

Sloan, a Columbia resident, played part of one season with the Dayton Dynamo of the National Professional Soccer League (then known as the American Indoor Soccer Association) in the 1988-89 season.

"The way I play is conducive to the indoor game," Sloan said. "I feel like I'm quick, agile and have the ability to control the ball."

Cooper said: "Kevin Sloan can play indoors. He has good touch, vision, is a good passer and has a high work rate. Kevin's pushing our veteran players."

In regard to the imminent arrival of the highly touted Harbor, Cooper said: "If he comes in and makes an impact, obviously we have to look at signing him. Jean's unbelievably effective with the ball. When he gets the ball outdoors, the party's over. But indoors it's five against five up and down the floor, and maybe he wouldn't have the work rate."

Last week, Harbor said he would help the Blast win a championship if he played for the team this season.

"Jean's very confident in his ability, and I love that kind of confidence," said Cooper. "He knows he's a great outdoors player. If he makes our team, he will be a target man, and that would mean we would have to make some adjustments since Domenic Mobilio and Rusty Troy are our two target men."

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