It didn't take Jon Parry long to make his presence felt with the Spirit.
In the first 17 minutes and 21 seconds of his first Spirit game, Parry scored five goals, breaking the National Professional Soccer League record for fastest five goals by one player at the start of a game.
The Spirit went on to defeat the Chicago Power, 21-10, before an opening-night crowd of 8,588 at Baltimore Arena. The Spirit's previous top crowd for an opener was 6,471 in 1992.
"The guys did a good job," said coach Dave MacWilliams, whose team had a 21-2 lead six minutes into the fourth quarter. "We had power plays, shootout goals, even a few three-pointers."
Parry, acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Attack, broke the record set by the Detroit Rockers' Andy Chapman in 1991 against the Harrisburg Heat. Chapman got his fifth at the 18:57 mark.
The five goals tied the club record for most in a game shared by Goran Hunjak, Doug Neely and Paul Wright.
"Jon showed what he's going to mean to this team -- a tremendous asset," MacWilliams said. "He's a deadly finisher."
Parry and his teammates apparently took to heart the words MacWilliams printed on the locker room blackboard. MacWilliams wrote: "Make sure the fans are glad they bought a ticket tonight!"
With two assists to go with his five goals, Parry had 11 points, matching Hunjak's club record set last January against Kansas City, his current team.
"This was one of those nights," said Parry, who cited another last year when he had seven goals and 14 points for Kansas City against the Wichita Wings. "Timmy [Wittman] gave me three good balls and I was striking the ball good. I wanted to make my first game memorable for myself as well as the fans."
Another Spirit newcomer, Kevin Sloan, had eight points, Wittman had five, Barry Stitz four.
In beating Chicago in its home opener for the third straight year, the Spirit raised its lifetime record against the Power to 5-1, including 4-0 here.
MacWilliams, dressed in a tuxedo, made an interesting observation as he prepared last night for the start of his rookie season as Spirit coach.
"It's like a wedding," he said, looking down at his garb. "The marriage will be consummated tonight.
"Actually, it's the same as it was when I was a player. You know, butterflies."
And the team? "I expect the guys to play with a lot of emotion. They'll be pumped."
Pumped they were. Thanks mostly to Parry's barrage of goals, the Spirit had a 5-2 lead after one quarter and a 12-2 bulge at halftime.
Parry's goals were of all denominations -- a three-pointer, two two-pointers and two one-pointers.
Tim Wittman had four assists in the first half, and a goal on a shootout. He approached the goal bouncing the ball on his knees, then gently popped it over goalie Frank Arlasky's head into the net, eliciting a chuckle from the crowd.
NOTES: MacWilliams was introduced before the game to the theme song from the TV show "Welcome Back, Kotter," an allusion to his five years as a Blast player in the 1980s. . . . The Spirit played without newcomers Philip Gyau, recovering from knee surgery Sept. 16 when he was with the Montreal Impact of the outdoor American Professional Soccer League, and Jean Harbor, still battered from the Impact's season. Harbor is questionable for tonight's game against the Power in Philadelphia and Gyau is not expected to be ready until early next month. . . . The Power was bolstered by the signing this week of Arlasky and Victor Fernandez, both NPSL veterans. Arlasky spent half of last season with the Canton Invaders, the second with the Power. Fernandez was Chicago's No. 6 scorer with 47 points. . . . Nine of the Spirit's 16 players are new. "Free agents going elsewhere and retirements forced us to bring in new people," MacWilliams said. Only four -- Wittman, Stitz, Cris Vaccaro and Jason Dieter -- were with the Spirit for its first NPSL season in 1992-93.