Four men, including the Spirit's Mike Stankovic, are in the running to coach the American Conference squad in the National Professional Soccer League All-Star Game on Feb. 9 at 3: 05 p.m. at Baltimore Arena.
The job goes to the coach of the team with the best record after Sunday's games, unless he had the honor last year. The league doesn't allow a coach to serve two straight years, so that rules out Bruce Miller, whose Cleveland Crunch has by far the best record (17-7) in the conference.
The four in contention are the Philadelphia Kixx's Dave MacWilliams, who directed the Spirit for 1 1/2 seasons, the Cincinnati Silverbacks' George Fernandez, the Harrisburg Heat's Jim Pollihan and Stankovic.
Philadelphia (11-9) has three games this week, the Spirit (11-12), Cincinnati (12-13) and Harrisburg (9-12) two. Based on their teams' records, MacWilliams is the favorite, Pollihan the long shot. In the event of a tie, the coach doubtless would be determined on how the teams fared head-to-head.
Marinaro clear winner
There is little room for dispute over the selection of Hector Marinaro as NPSL Player of the Week. The Cleveland star had 13 goals and four assists for 31 points in three games, as the Crunch remained undefeated (7-0) in 1997.
In the process, Marinaro overtook the Detroit Rockers' Dennis Brose for the NPSL scoring lead and became the leading goal-scorer in the history of indoor soccer in this country with his 741st (in 441 games) Saturday in a victory over the Tampa Bay Terror.
Marinaro is in his 12th season of indoor soccer, ninth in Cleveland. The previous owner of the goal record was Tatu of the Dallas Sidekicks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, his 740 goals being scored in 502 games.
Since Tatu plays during the summer months, the record probably will be passed back and forth until one of them retires.
Quotes of the week
The Kansas City Attack's Goran Hunjak on the crowd of 11,535 that turned out for a home win over the Tampa Bay Terror: "If we can get that every game, we'll be in good shape. We feed off the crowd."
Nick DeSantis on leading the Edmonton Drillers in scoring: "I never thought I could score as much as I have, but now that I've done it, I want more."
Cleveland's Tim Tyma is the first in NPSL history to register 1,000 career blocks. The only other indoor player with 1,000 is Bernie James, who had 1,112 in the old Major Indoor Soccer League. The 40 somethings: The four oldest players in the NPSL -- Tampa Bay's Peter Ward (July 27, 1955), the Toronto Shooting Stars' Paul Kitson (May 31, 1956), Stankovic (Nov. 11, 1956) and Harrisburg's Richard Chinapoo (Jan. 18, 1957) -- all played for the Baltimore Blast of the MISL. Doug Neely is back after missing three Spirit games to play for the U.S. team in the World Beach Soccer Championships in Brazil. After losing to Uruguay, the Americans beat Argentina, 5-1, for third place. Brazil then beat Uruguay in the final.
Pub Date: 1/23/97