Spirit trainer hopes team's injury bug is nearing an end 3 of 4 with knee problems have returned to practice; NPSL notebook


Carlo Mastrangelo, the Spirit's harried trainer, senses that relief from the rash of injuries is just around the corner.

Only nine games into the season, everyone on the 21-man squad -- except Joe Mallia, Jim McCombs and Josh Houle -- has received treatment of some kind. Eight players have missed a total of 40 games.

Four players missed Saturday's game with knee injuries and a fifth, player-coach Mike Stankovic, left with a strained knee ligament late in the first quarter. Jamie Christie sat out with a pulled hamstring.

But Stankovic and Christie are probable for Friday's game here against the Wichita Wings, and knee cases Mike Henning, Branko Segota and Ronnie Simmons are practicing again. Only Lance Johnson (knee) is not.

"Everybody will be back before Christmas," Mastrangelo predicted.

Look who's here

When the Spirit's Doug Neely walked into the Wharf Rat restaurant after Saturday night's loss to the Kansas City Attack, he saw members of the enemy -- but not from the Attack. They were from the Cleveland Crunch.

"What are you doing here?" asked an incredulous Neely. Turns out the Crunch was just off the bus from Harrisburg, where it had beaten the Heat. The team had flown into BWI, bused to and from Harrisburg, stayed at a hotel here, then flew back to Cleveland.

Quote of the week

Jim Schwab, who became Kansas City's player-coach when Zoran Savic moved up to general manager: "Zoran told me that when you lose, you don't sleep well. He was right."

Lately, Schwab has slept like a baby. The Attack has a six-game winning streak, the longest in the National Professional Soccer League.


All 21 Spirit players will conduct a clinic and autograph session tomorrow from 6: 30 to 9 p.m. at Myers Soccer Pavilion in Brooklyn. Admission is $3, with proceeds going to charity. Severna Park High alum Warren Westcoat, who earned Kansas City's 16-4 win over the Spirit, is the NPSL Player of the Week after allowing a total of only 15 points in three victories. The NPSL Offensive Player for November is Detroit Rockers player-coach Pato Margetic, who had 25 points in leading his team to a 4-1 record and became the first player to accumulate 400 regular-season assists. Defensive Player for November is Cleveland goalie Otto Orf, who was 5-0 with a 10.20 points-against average. The Columbus Invaders (0-9) are approaching the worst start in league history -- the Chicago Power's 0-10 last season.

Pub Date: 12/03/96

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