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Crow Wants the Sockers to Trade Him : Veteran Defender Says He's Tired of Feuding With Newman

December 03, 1987|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — After two seasons of debating with Socker Coach Ron Newman and criticizing his handling of players and game tactics, defender Kevin Crow asked to be traded Wednesday.

"The bottom line is I don't want to play for Ron Newman anymore," Crow said. "We don't see eye to eye. I don't see eye to eye with the way he handles players in general. I don't think the changes made in the last two years is what I want to be a part of.

"I'm not happy playing soccer here in San Diego. It's best that I go. I want to leave now."

Ron Cady, Socker president, said he has had discussions with other teams this week concerning Crow, but the Sockers will hold out until they can get a quality player in return.

"He's a great player," Cady said. "It's with great reluctance that we would let him go. But he's indicated to us he wants to be traded as soon as possible."

Cady had hoped Crow would not go public with his desire to be traded so the Sockers could continue to work behind the scenes.

"If he has to go public with something like this and can't hold it in anymore," Cady said, "I'm sorry to see this."

Crow said he told Cady in early November that he wanted to be traded. Then, he spoke with Ron Fowler, chairman of the board of Sockers Management Inc.

"My mind didn't change," said Crow, who is in the third year of a three-year contract that expires June 1. "I became more adamant every time I talked to them."

The Sockers told Crow to give them until Dec. 1 to try to trade him, said Crow, who has a no-cut and a trade approval clause in his contract and earns approximately $90,000 a season.

"I think people are moving slow," Crow said. "I'm trying to expedite things a little. It's not like they can offer me more money and it will make me change my mind. I'm walking June 1. This way, they can at least get something for me."

Crow, 26, a former All-American at San Diego State, was the Major Indoor Soccer League defender of the year in 1984-85 and the Sockers' all-time leader in blocked shots. This season, Crow leads the team with 23 blocked shots in 8 games.

Crow has become increasingly outspoken during the last two seasons. He believed the Sockers had too many individuals, and said so. He was outspoken about the importance of offensive players getting back on defense.

And despite the disapproval of some of his teammates, Crow took it upon himself to become the leader on a team that was without one since Steve Zungul was sold to Tacoma midway through the 1985-86 season.

"We have to have somebody that could at least speak up a bit," Crow said last season. "Whether it's right or wrong, someone has to take responsibility."

Newman continues to admire Crow's play, and said he will continue to play Crow regularly as long as he's with the team. But he had hoped Crow would be less outspoken this season.

"I've lived with it because I think he's a damn good player," Newman said. "I sat down with him at the start of the season to iron out our differences. I thought we had. I expected him not to be so opinionated. He doesn't have to do it through newspapers or through other players. He could do it directly through me."

Socker Notes

Scott Simpson, Juli Veee's agent, said he will file a grievance today over Veee's 30-day suspension without pay for an open-handed slap that hit assistant coach Johan Aarnio after a game against Minnesota Nov. 22. Today is the eighth day of Veee's 30-day suspension. Simpson met with Socker President Ron Cady Wednesday, hoping to soften Veee's suspension. Said Cady: "I told him the club's position had not changed at all." To file the grievance, Simpson said he will send a registered letter to the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Sockers and the MISL Players Assn. Simpson added that the association notified him that the Sockers were asking for $85 before they would send a copy of the tape of the Veee incident. Simpson said he would send his tape to the Players Assn. . . . After the Sockers' 12-2 victory over Wichita last Friday night at home, defender Waad Hirmez said he wanted to be traded. When asked if Hirmez had officially asked the club to trade him, Cady said: "Waad hasn't come up to me and indicated he wants to be traded. Coaches have indicated to me that everything has simmered down and he's ready to go."

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