The Bays, winners of two consecutive United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues indoor championships, have enlisted the help of four players from the NPSL's Spirit for their 1997 outdoor campaign.
Two games into the season, the Bays already are reaping the benefits of having Lance Johnson, Todd Hicks, Jim McCombs and Ronnie Simmons.
The Bays, with a 20-50 record in their first four outdoor seasons, are 1-1 heading into this weekend's home-and-home series with the Cleveland Caps.
More impressively, the local team's split of its first two games -- both results coming in shootouts -- came against two of the league's top teams in the Charlotte Eagles and South Carolina Shamrocks.
South Carolina, which defeated the Bays, 2-1, in their opener, went 11-6-1 last year, and the Eagles, who fell to the Bays, 2-1, last weekend in Charlotte, N.C., finished 12-4 last season after losing in the championship game to Charleston.
"It's great that we've been able to develop a good working relationship with the Spirit and we're confident that it has given us more talent and the fans a better product," said Bays coach Kevin Healey.
Billy Ronson, the Most Valuable Player during the Bays' undefeated indoor season, and veterans Brian Burgarin (UMBC) and Danny Santora will play alongside Tarik Walker, Joe Koziol and Derrick Marcano before the three leave the team in June to join the Washington Warthogs for the Continental Indoor Soccer League season.
The Bays picked up midfielders Scott Henderson and Doug Nevins from the Philadelphia Kixx of the NPSL and bolstered their defense by adding Dave Briles and Eric Washington from the Delaware Wizards of the USISL.
The Bays will play their third straight road game Saturday in Cleveland, before returning home the following day to play host to the Caps in a 5 p.m. contest at UMBC Stadium.
Tickets for the home opener will be $5 in advance and $7 at the gate. To purchase tickets in advance or for more information, call 410-574-5555.
Pub Date: 4/24/97