Paul Wright might join the Spirit. Again.
The team's leading scorer and No. 9 in the National Professional Soccer League with 146 points during the 1993-94 season, Wright is being courted again by the Spirit.
"It's not close to a done deal, but we are having contract discussions," general manager Drew Forrester said. "Paul told us if he does play indoors this season, it would be here. And we know what he can do indoors -- put points on the board."
In its pursuit of Wright, the Spirit is spurred in part by his having played on the same line with Branko Segota for six years with the San Diego Sockers of the old Major Soccer League. The Spirit signed Segota in May.
Wright, 27, is playing this summer for the Kansas City Wiz of Major League Soccer, and on Sunday beat the Los Angeles Galaxy, the league's top team, with a shootout goal.
His last indoor team was the Sacramento Knights of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, which he led last summer in scoring and to the championship game.
In his one Spirit season, Wright scored at least one goal in 34 of his 35 games and had 17 multiple-goal games.
The Spirit is undergoing what Forrester calls a "broad evaluation process." He is trying to determine, for example, whether Kevin Sloan, John Garvey and Dave Vaudreuil, who combined for almost 250 points, intend to return or continue their bids to play in MLS.
Vaudreuil is a regular with D.C. United, Garvey has been limited to five games with Los Angeles and Sloan is with the Greensboro Dynamo of the U.S. Interregional Soccer League while he awaits a summons from an MLS team.
"I'll be surprised if Kevin's back, and I certainly can't blame him for pursuing his dream," Forrester said. "At the same time, we have to put this team together in the next month."
Forrester also has talked to Frank Klopas, 31, who played four years for the Chicago Sting of the old MSL and the past four in the Greek First Division.
The bottom line is that the Spirit can't afford to wait too long for, say, Sloan, and risk losing a Wright or a Klopas.
Pub Date: 8/14/96