They were teammates on the old Hershey Impact. Each has a Baltimore connection. And now Warren Westcoat and Franklin McIntosh have something else in common.
Westcoat, the Kansas City Attack's goalie and a Severna Park High grad, and Spirit midfielder McIntosh are the National Professional Soccer League's October Players of the Month, one for defense, the other for offense.
Westcoat, third team All-NPSL last season, has allowed only 15 points in a pair of wins and leads the league's goalkeepers in points-against average. McIntosh, who has led the Spirit to two victories, is tied with the Cleveland Crunch's Hector Marinaro for the league lead in points (13) and is first in assists with seven.
Buffalo Blizzard forward Gino DiFlorio's four-goal, two-assist performance in Saturday's loss to the Spirit brought him the NPSL Player of the Week award. DiFlorio is coming back from a ruptured Achilles' tendon 10 months ago.
Q: Until the Indians won their first American League pennant since 1954, which was the last pro team in Cleveland to win a championship?
A: The Crunch, NPSL champion in 1993-94.
Asked to pick the NPSL champion, the league's 13 coaches mentioned eight teams. Four chose the defending champion St. Louis Ambush and three favored Kansas City. The Spirit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Harrisburg, Wichita and Tampa Bay each got one vote.
The coaches' predicted order of finish in the American Division: Cleveland, Spirit, Harrisburg, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay and Canton. In the National: St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Wichita, Detroit and Chicago.
Date in Philly
With an eye toward expansion, the NPSL scheduled seven games at neutral sites, including a Spirit-Chicago Power match Nov. 18 at in Philadelphia. There also will be one in Worcester, Mass., and five in New Haven, Conn..
Tampa Bay joined the NPSL this season, and the Toronto Shooting Stars will be added in 1996-97. Philadelphia and Connecticut have applied for 1996-97.
Spirit general manager Drew Forrester sent a letter to the Buffalo Blizzard expressing the team's regrets that defender Marco Rizi broke two bones in his right leg in a collision with Ronald Simmons in Saturday's game, ending his season.
"We've studied the tape and it's clear Simmons was intending only to win the ball, not injure Rizi," Forrester said.
The league also will review the tape, and if it agrees with Forrester, no disciplinary action will be taken against Simmons.
The second edition of "The Baltimore Soccer Show" on WMAR-TV Sunday drew a 1.6 rating (approximately 25,000 homes). The show, presented by the Spirit, includes local youth soccer news and videos and Spirit highlights. "We're very happy with a 1.6, considering since we're up against the NFL," Forrester said. The next show is Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. . . . The league's largest crowd of the season, 10,027, watched the home team Attack defeat the Detroit Rockers, 15-6, in its opener Sunday.