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Lazer Coach Says He Won't Be Back; Team May Fold

June 22, 1989|DON PATTERSON | Special to The Times

Keith Tozer, coach of the Los Angeles Lazers, said Wednesday night that he and assistant, Mike Mahoney, have not been rehired for next season.

A source close to the Major Indoor Soccer League office said the Lazers are expected to announce this week they will not play next season.

Tozer said he was notified by management May 16 that there was a possibility the Lazers would fold. Lazer owner Jerry Buss, who has reportedly lost more than $7 million on the franchise since its inception, and MISL commissioner Earl Foreman could not be reached for comment.

"I've been taken out of the coaching role," said Tozer, who has been reassigned as director of marketing and advertising for boxing at the Forum. "The players have been notified that possibly something will happen."

Tozer said he has suspected the franchise was having difficulties.

"We kind of felt it all season long," he said. "It became more and more apparent that at least something was going to happen. I hope at the age of 32 that this is not my last chance to coach."

All MISL teams are required to submit a $400,000 letter of credit by June 30. Without the Lazers, the league will likely consist of seven teams, including the Cleveland Crunch, an expansion franchise.

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