League expected to name Spirit as host of its '97 All-Star Game


The 1997 National Professional Soccer League All-Star Game may be held at the Baltimore Arena. The Spirit has asked to serve as the game's host, and the league is expected to announce its approval at this year's All-Star Game, Feb. 11 in Wichita.

In the Major Soccer League's last year, 1992, when the Blast was the All-Star Game host, the game attracted 9,400 despite snow the day before and on the day of the game.

"It's a showcase event," Spirit general manager Drew Forrester said. "We already have nine sponsors for it."

Surgery for Vaudreuil

Spirit midfielder Dave Vaudreuil, whose injured stomach muscle failed to heal while he sat out 12 games, underwent surgery yesterday at Union Memorial Hospital to repair a tear in his abdominal wall and will be out another three to four weeks. He is expected to return in early March, the final month of the regular season.

Another midfielder, Jamie Christie, is scheduled to play this weekend when the Spirit visits the Detroit Rockers Saturday and the Milwaukee Wave Sunday, after missing three games with a (( hamstring strain. Brad Smith (hamstring) is questionable and Barry Stitz (sprained ankle) is out.

Game of week

The game of the season so far will be staged tonight when the Kansas City Attack (21-3), which has won an NPSL-record 18 straight, entertains the Cleveland Crunch (22-2).

Cleveland, winner of seven in a row, leads the NPSL in offense and has the league's top two scorers in Zoran Karic and Hector Marinaro. The Crunch rocked the defending-champion St. Louis Ambush, 36-21, Friday night, a 57-point eruption that was the highest-scoring regular-season game in history.

Only the day before, the Crunch signed rookie coach Bruce Miller to a three-year contract.


The Spirit is holding a buy-one-get-one-free ticket campaign through Feb. 29. Fans can get ticket coupons with the purchase of Nabisco candy at area Rite-Aid, Super Fresh and Santoni's stores. Coupons are available at those stores, which have life-size cardboard displays featuring Stitz and Kevin Sloan. . . . The Harrisburg Heat's Mark Pulisic became the 35th player in NPSL history to score 400 regular-season points. The Spirit's Bobby Joe Esposito is two shy of becoming the 36th.

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