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Ingram vetoes trade, so Blast keeps Dragicevic, draft choice


St. Louis Storm forward Godfrey Ingram just said no.

The nine-year Major Soccer League veteran vetoed a proposed trade to the Blast yesterday, bringing to an end the negotiations that would have meant trading places with Blast midfield/defender Emil Dragicevic.

That's the bad news. The good news is the Blast gets to keep draft choice Jason Dieter, a Baltimore native who attended UMBC. A midfielder, Dieter was acquired with St. Louis' second selection in the first round of the draft, as part of the proposed Ingram/Dragicevic deal.

A ruling by MSL commissioner Earl Foreman yesterday said Dieter would remain the Blast's property by virtue of an agreement made between the two teams at the time the trade was originally consummated.

Ingram, according to league rules, is allowed to veto the trade because he has been in the MSL more than four seasons and has spent the past three with the same team.

"The timing is just terrible for me," Ingram said from his home in St. Louis. "I have a number of personal commitments here and a business I'm starting. It's just not the right time. It has nothing to do with Baltimore, the players or the coach. Under other %J circumstances, I would have enjoyed coming. I like what's being done there."

And he certainly doesn't like how he is being used in St. Louis.

"I've been left out of the lineup here quite a lot and I think it is on a personal level," said Ingram. "I think it will be difficult to play for Popovic [St. Louis coach Don Popovic] . . . , because he hasn't been very honest with me -- or with others. But I'm going to stick out this season. After that, I'll see what happens."

It seemed the Ingram-for-Dragicevic exchange would have been the perfect deal, as trades go. St. Louis, which initiated the talks, wanted Dragicevic to play on a line with All-Star midfielder Preki, and the Blast wanted Ingram, a proven goal scorer, to light up the scoreboard.

Because Ingram, who has scored 265 goals in his career, has not been part of St. Louis' game plan for some time -- in just eight games this season, he has one goal and two assists -- it was thought the forward would have been happy to join the Blast.

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