SAN DIEGO — Goalkeeper Jim Gorsek signed a multiyear contract Thursday that calls for a pay cut in the first year in order for Gorsek to remain with the Sockers and still allow the team to meet the league's salary cap requirement.
The Sockers also announced that Branko Segota, the team's top scorer, and defender Brian Schmetzer will not play in the season opener Saturday at Wichita because of injuries.
Segota, who had 34 goals and 41 assists last season, has been bothered with a pulled hamstring throughout training camp. Schmetzer is suffering from a sprained knee.
Coach Ron Newman said defender Waad Hirmez will be moved to the midfield to replace Segota and Fernando Clavijo will replace Schmetzer.
The Sockers also waived midfielder Greg Ion, who was acquired in the off-season from the Minnesota Strikers, to help reduce the team's salary total. The Sockers are just below the Major Indoor Soccer League's salary cap requirement of $1.275 million per team, Newman said.
Gorsek, 32, agreed to the pay cut for the first year of his multiyear contract. Gorsek said his contract has a no-cut, no-trade clause for the first year, and only a no-cut clause for the remaining years. He would not, however, disclose the amount of the contract or its exact length.
Gorsek, who was entering the option year of his current contract, did say the new contract will be for less than three years and involves no bonuses for signing. After the first year, Gorsek said his salary will return to the previous amount of $77,000 a year.
"The choices for me were not playing and sitting out this year, or taking what I could get and play this year," Gorsek said. "I think it would have been damaging not to play. It could have cost me my career."
Gorsek, however, will not travel with the team to Wichita for Saturday's game. Because of the league rule restricting teams to 15 players in uniform for each game, Newman has opted to go with only one goalkeeper, Zoltan Toth.
Two other Sockers will not make the trip. Defender Ralf Wilhelms, a West German citizen, has not received a visa from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and defender George Katakalidis is on the injured reserve list with an injured toe.
Socker Note The Sockers signed defender Jormoz Tabrizi, a reserve team member, to a one-year, minimum-salary contract Thursday. The Sockers now have the required 19 players on the roster.