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MISL Surprises Sockers, Gives 1990 All-Star Game to San Diego

February 16, 1988|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

TACOMA, Wash. — San Diego will be host to the 1990 Major Indoor Soccer League All-Star game.

And nobody was more surprised than the Sockers.

"I didn't know a thing about it," said Coach Ron Newman early Monday evening when he was told the news in a hotel lobby. "They (Chairman of the Board Ron Fowler and President Ron Cady) never even mentioned it to me. They didn't ask me or anything. but I'm very thrilled about it."

"We're what?," asked Randy Bernstein, Socker vice president.

At last year's league meeting at the All-Star game in Los Angeles, former Socker managing general partner Bob Bell made a presentation to get the 1989 all-star game for San Diego, but it was awarded to Dallas.

Fowler was attending his first league meeting Monday and Cady has only been involved with the league since last summer.

The scenario began at breakfast Monday morning with Fowler, Cady and MISL Commissioner Bill Kentling.

"Ron (Cady) and I had been talking about it." Fowler said. "So, we told the commissioner we'd like to be considered. We asked, 'What is the procedure?'

"He said, 'Do you think you can handle an all-star game?"

If it all sounds too simple, it gets even simpler.

Later in the day at the board of directors meeting, Fowler told his colleagues that San Diego, which is the site of the league meetings this spring, would really like to host the all-star game in 1990.

"It was decided before it ever got to a vote," Fowler said.

Kentling said San Diego had two major factors in its favor:

(1) It had never be host to an all-star game.

"We want to allow those teams that have not hosted the all-star game to get it before going back to places where it has been," Kentling said.

(2) The sun usually shines in San Diego in February.

"I wouldn't say it was a hard sell," Kentling said.

Wichita made a bid, but Kentling said the Kansas Coliseum's capacity of 9,681 was too small. The San Diego Sports Arena seats 12,884.

Minnesota and Baltimore also made bids, but the uncertain future of both franchises made them less attractive hosts for a game two years away.

"Let's say we were a bit more forceful in terms of our desires," Fowler said. "The big question is why didn't we have it in the past."

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