SAN DIEGO — One member of the Sockers scored a goal in Coach Ron Newman's first and 100th regular-season wins in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
It's not Juli Veee, who scored four goals in Newman's first MISL win, a 6-5 victory in St. Louis Dec. 5, 1982, but was shut out in win No. 100, a 6-2 victory against the Wichita Wings Saturday night at the San Diego Sports Arena.
And it's not Jean Willrich, Kaz Deyna, Cha Cha Namdar, Gary Collier, Guy Newman or Jim Gorsek.
Who else was even on the 1982-83 San Diego team and the 1985-86 team that clinched the Western Division title Saturday night?
He scored a goal against St. Louis in December of 1982, and had a hat trick in the first half of San Diego's win against Wichita.
Coker's comeback after missing 14 games with a fractured right instep is quite an achievement.
He has scored 12 goals and has 4 assists in 15 games since his return Feb. 5, which was the night Steve Zungul played his final game for the Sockers. Coker scored twice against Kansas City last Wednesday night and had a hat trick against the Comets March 4.
"I always seem to get healthy near the end of the season and toward the playoffs," said Coker, who missed 28 games because of an emergency appendectomy last season. "This year is no exception. Everything seems to be falling into place."
Coker scored on a turnaround left-footer in the first quarter, a right-footer from the right side and a short chip shot on a perfect centering pass from Veee in the second quarter.
"When Ade gets one, he figures it's his day and he gets bubbly," Newman said.
Coker received assistance from Branko Segota (two goals) and Willrich (one goal). Defensively, goalkeeper Jim Gorsek had a shutout until late in the final quarter and finished with 12 saves on 18 shots.
In addition to gaining revenge for a 5-4 loss in Wichita last Sunday, the Sockers reached a number of milestones Saturday night:
- By clinching the Western Division championship, the Sockers (31-10) assured themselves of having the best record in the league and the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
- Playing in front of 11,569 fans on photo night, their second-largest home crowd of the season, the Sockers won their 100th game at the Sports Arena.
Counting regular-season and playoff games in the MISL and North American Soccer League and excluding tournament games and exhibitions, San Diego is 100-23 at home. They are 79-23 during the regular season and an amazing 21-0 in the playoffs.
- Newman has a 100-37 mark in MISL regular-season games.
- Segota had two goals and one assist to move within one point of becoming the MISL's scoring leader. He has 90 points in 39 games. Segota passed Steve Zungul, who has 88 points in 38 games.
Wing forward Erik Rasmussen scored one goal Saturday night and leads the league with 91 points.
Segota has 12 goals in his last four games and 50 goals and 40 assists for the season.
After picking up his 30th penalty minute in the second quarter for tripping, Segota became even more offensive-minded than usual.
Players are forced to miss a game after accumulating 20 and 30 penalty minutes. Segota will not play Tuesday night at Minnesota.
Hugo Perez picked up his 20th penalty minute when he was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty in the third quarter.
Two players on one team cannot miss the same game because they have too many penalty minutes. Therefore, Perez will be forced to sit out the game after the Minnesota match, a home game against Baltimore next Saturday night.