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Sockers Get Insurance, So Segota May Get His Wish

July 22, 1986|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Have insurance policy, will travel.

That's the situation facing Socker midfielder Branko Segota.

San Diego managing director Bob Bell has agreed to let Segota play during the off-season for Dynamo Zagreb of the First Division in Yugoslavia.

"I've requested that they (Dynamo Zagreb) insure Branko for $250,000 for personal or temporary disability," Bell said.

Bell said Dynamo Zagreb will not pay a transfer fee for Segota, but it has agreed to take out the insurance policy and make the Sockers the beneficiaries.

Bell said Monday afternoon: "As of right now, we think we've reached an agreement."

Segota--a Canadian citizen who was born in Yugoslavia--would leave for Yugoslavia tonight or Wednesday and would be obligated to return to San Diego no later than Nov. 2. He would miss about four weeks of training camp, but still would have a couple of weeks to work out with the Sockers before the Major Indoor Soccer League season opens Nov. 14.

Segota was the Sockers' leading scorer and MISL's third-leading scorer last season with 60 goals and 46 assists for 106 points. He also led the league in playoff scoring with 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points.

Why have the Sockers agreed to let their 25-year-old star risk injury and play for Dynamo Zagreb?

- Part of the reason may be financial. Segota enters the final year of a three-year contract this season and could become a free agent at the end of the 1986-87 season. Bell said the Sockers are negotiating a long-term contract with Segota, but in the meantime, the two parties have worked out a new one-year contract for the 1986-87 season.

Segota will get a salary increase, but it is less than he requested. Segota earned about $100,000 last year and his new contract is believed to be in the neighborhood of $125,000, which makes him one of the highest paid players in the league.

"Branko gave in a little on terms of his contract," Bell said. "And we're giving in in terms of letting Branko go over there."

Keeping Segota's salary down for the upcoming season also will enable the Sockers to more easily fulfill the requirements of the salary cap that is contained in the new collective bargaining agreement with the MISL Players Assn.

- Keeping Segota happy may be another reason. Segota desperately wants to prove himself in the outdoor game. He was on the Canadian National team that participated in the World Cup last month, but played only sparingly because of a feud with Coach Tony Waiters. Segota was a second-half substitute in all three games. To make matters worse, Canada went 0-3 and did not score.

After the World Cup, Segota was contacted by Dynamo Zagreb. He went to Yugoslavia 10 days ago, met with team officials, attended a practice and came back to San Diego to seek permission from the Sockers to play there.

Socker Notes The Sockers are scheduled to open training camp Oct. 6. After a brief stint in San Diego, the team will spend four days working out in Warner Springs. The Sockers will play San Diego State in an outdoor exhibition game Oct. 15 at the Aztec Bowl. Tentatively, the Sockers are also scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Rowdies in St. Petersburg, Fla., Oct. 22. The Rowdies, formerly of the North American Soccer League, will play in the American Indoor Soccer Assn. this year. In the Western Athletic Conference portion of their exhibition schedule, the Sockers will play Dallas in Albuquerque, N.M., Oct. 24 and in El Paso, Texas, Oct. 25. San Diego will play Tacoma in Billings, Mont., Nov. 1; Kansas City in Salt Lake City, Nov. 3, and Los Angeles in Fresno Nov. 8. . . . The Major Indoor Soccer League has expanded its regular-season schedule from 48 to 52 games. The regular season will run Nov. 14-May 3. All 24 Socker home games will broadcast on XEXX (1420 AM) in Spanish.

Socker managing director Bob Bell said the club was close to working out a contract so Dynamo Kiev once again will play an exhibition game in San Diego next season. The Sockers beat Dynamo Kiev, 6-4, on Dec. 11, 1985, at the Sports Arena.

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