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No-Name Sockers Find a Way to Slip Past the Blast, 4-3

March 26, 1987|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Kevin Crow looked around the Socker locker room before Wednesday's game, shook his head and said he wanted to paste pictures of his teammates on his arm.

That way, he would know whom to pass to once the game started.

Victor Quni? Paul Dougherty? Njego Pesa? Who are these guys?

Crow and Quni teamed on the game-winning goal Wednesday as the Sockers' no-name players, or, as Coach Ron Newman calls them, "Newman's Nippers," upset the Baltimore Blast, 4-3, in the San Diego Sports Arena in front of 8,059, a season-low crowd.

"Sure, it's a bloody upset," Newman said. "It's an enormous upset. We had all those guys out."

The outmanned Sockers--playing without five injured regulars, including three of their top four scorers--beat a Baltimore team that had beaten the Sockers in three games this season and that is 26-13 and has the best record in the Major Indoor Soccer League.

The Sockers won despite playing without leading scorer Branko Segota (strained right thigh), as well as Juli Veee, Hugo Perez, Brian Quinn (sprained right knees) and George Katakalidis (sprained left toe).

"Those young guys (on the Sockers) want to earn a job," said Blast defender Richard Chinapoo. "They're busting their butt. They outran us, outworked us and they wanted it more than us."

The younger Sockers hustled and ran, but it was veterans Jean Willrich and Crow who orchestrated the victory.

With the score tied, 2-2, in the third quarter, Crow took a long pass from Willrich, controlled the ball with his right foot while racing down the right wing and smashed a 15-footer into the far corner of the net. It was Crow's fourth goal of the season.

"I know Jean knows what I'll do, and the ball will be coming my way," Crow said. "

Willrich, moved from midfield to forward Wednesday because of the Sockers' injury situation, said his main job was to "create chances."

The Sockers had scored only two goals in each of their last two defeats and they had only 10 goals in their last four games.

On Wednesday, Waad Hirmez had a goal and an assist after being moved from defense to midfield and Willrich had an assist and played a steady offensive game.

"Jean's the skipper and he led by example," Newman said. "He fought for everything and had a great game."

San Diego led, 3-2, late in the third quarter when Crow--racing downfield off a line change--received a long pass from goalkeeper Jim Gorsek, played give-and-go with midfielder Raffaele Ruotolo and then fed Quni on a 2-on-1 break.

Quni, signed to a 10-day contract last week and playing in his first game with the Sockers, tapped the ball in for his first MISL goal. Quni played three games with the New York Express earlier this season.

"I'm just so glad to be here," said Quni, 20.

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