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Hirmez Is Making His Points : Sockers: Midfielder wanted to show his father soccer could be a worthwhile profession, and his way of doing that has always been to go for the goal.


Still, he says he doesn't always get the respect he thinks he deserves from his teammates, who have often said he's too concerned with his statistics and star status and not enough with becoming a complete player.

After rookie Wes Wade made a negative comment about Hirmez in the paper earlier this season, Hirmez confronted him and told him: "If you're going to say something about another rookie, that's OK. But don't you ever say anything about a veteran player."

Hirmez says that what bothers him is not so much the criticism as the fact that it never comes from somebody who is looking him in the eye.

"Nobody comes up to me and says 'You're selfish,' " he says. "But I always hear it behind the scenes. I'd never do anything to hurt the team, but I wouldn't do anything to hurt myself either. I will not change my style."

Hirmez's contributions are appreciated, says team captain Brian Quinn, but maybe not in the manner he would like.

"I think he enjoys winning as much as anyone," Quinn says. "He's always been a goal-scorer. That's his game. I think that when he plays his role, he is as important as anyone on the team.

"I think he's the kind of player that sometimes, when he scores his goals, will forget about the other parts of the game. His scoring speaks for itself. I think he should work on his all-around game."

Is he selfish?

"At times, maybe I am selfish," Hirmez says. "I admit that. But that helps me score goals. Sometimes when I try not to be selfish, I pass the ball, and a player doesn't finish. I think, 'What would have happened if I wouldn't have passed? I might have scored.'

"Everybody cares about points. Nobody can tell me they don't care about points. If you can tell me about any player or anybody who cares about other people before they care about themselves I would say they're wrong."

Newman said he has no problem with his attitude.

"A goal-scorer is naturally selfish," Newman says. "He can't be a goal-scorer without being selfish."

Perhaps what bothers many of his teammates is the feeling that Hirmez most wants to be put in the same star category as Branko Segota. So questions are whispered. Why does he celebrate so much? Why does he keep such careful track of his points?


No, Hirmez says. He says he is beyond the age of needing to have people tell him how great he is. It has more to do with self-fulfillment, he says.

"I'm a very proud person," he says. "I enjoy success. I'm never happy where I'm at. I always want to be more successful."

As for achieving the same status as Branko Segota?

"No," Quinn says. "Never. There's no one on this team that can play that way. Waady scores spectacular goals, but I don't think he has the necessary skills to be a Branko or a Preki."

If not a star, Hirmez is a player fans can identify with because of his flamboyant style. Nobody is likely to label him the best player on the team, but they might say: "You should see what this one player does. He comes out and kisses the ground. He jumps on the glass after he scores goals."

And, the way Hirmez sees it, there's nothing wrong with that.

"This is a show," Hirmez says. "How else are we going to get the people to come back?"


The Sockers open the MISL's Western Division playoff finals against the Dallas Sidekicks with games Friday and Saturday nights in Dallas. Game 3 will be in San Diego May 18.

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