Zak Ibsen flew with the Spirit to Tampa, Fla., last night, but tonight he will play against his old team.
Barely 24 hours before the teams were to meet in a National Professional Soccer League game, Ibsen was dealt to the Tampa Bay Terror for John Garvey yesterday in a trade of midfielders.
Although Ibsen had 10 goals in 14 games and was fifth on the team in points with 27, the Spirit was looking for more punch. Franklin McIntosh, Kevin Sloan and Mike Stankovic have provided the bulk of the scoring.
Garvey, a 26-year-old former University of Maryland All-American, had nine goals and five assists for 19 points in 10 games before leaving the Terror on Dec. 18 to be with his ailing father in Fort Lauderdale. He hasn't played since.
"I'm excited about joining the Spirit," Garvey said. "It may seem a little strange playing against Tampa, but I should settle in quickly."
Garvey played briefly for the NPSL's Milwaukee Wave in 1992-93, scoring five goals in 13 games, and last season had 39 goals for the Wichita Wings and was the team's No. 3 scorer with 76 points.
"He'll score goals in his sleep," said Tampa Bay coach Kenny Cooper.
"We need another proven goal scorer," Spirit general manager Drew Forrester said. "We remembered that Garvey scored five against us last March in a 17-16 Wichita win."
In any trade with his former team, Cooper was insistent on getting Ibsen, 23, who has participated in 14 international games with the U.S. National Team.
Ibsen had never played indoor soccer until last October, but Forrester says "he is learning it well."
"That's what I need," Cooper said. "Zak is difficult to play against. He never stops. He's all over the place."
Ibsen was agreeable to the trade, in part because his soccer future probably is in the outdoor game and Tampa will have an outdoor team, the Mutiny, in Major League Soccer, which will start this spring.
Ibsen In Tampa, Ibsen is rejoining Billy Thompson, his high school and UCLA teammate. They played on UCLA's NCAA championship team in 1990 and also were on the U.S. National Team together.
Opponent: Tampa Bay Terror
Site: Bayfront Center, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)
Outlook: Back in second place in the NPSL American Division thanks to last week's win over the Buffalo Blizzard, the Spirit faces a grueling stretch of four games in seven days and is in the midst of seven in 16 days. The Spirit yesterday traded Zak Ibsen to Tampa Bay for John Garvey; tonight will be the players' debuts for their new teams. Ex-Spirit coach Kenny Cooper's Terror has dropped four straight and is 4-15 and next-to-last in the American Division. Tampa Bay newcomers Steve Kinsey and Carlos Zavala contributed to the offense in the last game, Friday's 13-11 loss to the Wichita Wings. Bojan Vuckovic leads the Terror with 64 points.