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Harbor finalizing Blast tryout


Maryland Bays forward Jean Harbor said last night he will talk to his employers today, to finalize whether he can take a four-day leave of absence to try out for the Blast.

"I expect to know for sure by [Monday afternoon]," said Harbor, who works as a biochemist at Science Application International Corp. in Rockville. "I would like to prove my critics wrong [by showing he can play as well indoors as out]."

Blast vice president Drew Forrester said he expects to hear from Harbor later today, as to his final decision.

The Blast had hoped to get a look at Harbor Saturday, but the American Professional Soccer League MVP came to talk Saturday, not to play.

After a meeting with Blast coach Kenny Cooper and Forrester, Harbor and his representative, Jonas Harbor, his brother, watched practice and indicated the meeting had gone well.

"Jean hopes to be here Tuesday," said Jonas. "We will say it is to work out with the team, not to try out. It is a team sport, not just

one person. It is important to see if the chemistry can be established."

Cooper said management has asked Harbor to work out Tuesday through Friday and play in this Saturday's exhibition against Cleveland in Richmond, Va.

"At that time, we would make a decision," said Cooper. "If he makes the team, he'll be reimbursed for the time he misses at work. I know Jean has a good job and I understand that. But the rules are the same for everyone here."

Harbor had hoped to be paid for his lost time at work -- more than $500 -- whether he made the team or not.

"If Jean is as good as he believes he is, then he has no problem," said Cooper. "He'll make the roster and be reimbursed."

Harbor said his decision to consider playing indoor soccer will not interfere with his outdoor dreams of making the U.S. National team.

"If Jean was working his regular job, at some point he would have to start working out hard on his conditioning to get ready for outdoors," explained Jonas. "But if he is playing with the Blast, then he would not need to go through all that, because he would already be training regularly."

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