SAN DIEGO — While Oscar Ancira, Sockers managing general partner, leaves for Argentina today to chase suspended star Diego Maradona, Brian Quinn will remain here wondering why Ancira isn't chasing the player who has anchored the Sockers' midfield for the past eight years.
Quinn, the Sockers' fourth all-time assist leader with 187, in August accepted a contract with the U.S. national team and quickly announced an end to his indoor soccer career.
He since has been approached by Ancira about returning to the Sockers in between commitments.
That was three weeks ago, Quinn said, and he has yet to hear back from Ancira.
"I've indicated I'm willing to play," Quinn said. "I just don't want this to drag on, though. . . . He asked me if I was interested and I told him I would be if it was feasible and we could make it work."
One hang up appears to be the definition of feasible.
"If they want me to play in (all 40) games, well, that's impossible," Quinn said. "But 70%-plus, then maybe it's feasible."
That's where an impasse emerges.
"Seventy percent, that's 28 games," Ancira said. "That's too few. We would like him to play in 83%."
That's 33 games.
Quinn said he has discussed the matter with the U.S. Soccer Federation and received a green light. He also said he would play in 33 Sockers games if the national team schedule allowed for it.
"I'll be glad to play in that many--if it's feasible," Quinn said.
Ancira said another problem is the salary cap. After signing Ezekiel Doe, former Liberian national team player, and Alex Khapsalis, former Soviet first division performer, the Sockers have room under the $550,000 salary cap to sign "three rookies and two big players," Ancira said.
"The guy (Quinn) is definitely the best player in the league," Ancira said. "So it would be dumb of us not to try to get him if he's available. One of the big problems we're having is with the salary cap. It's one of those puzzles that once you find the right piece, all the other pieces fall into place. Brian Quinn might be that piece, but I just don't want to end up with two or three veteran players surrounded by a bunch of rookies."
Besides talking to Quinn, the Sockers are waiting to see what happens later this week with Paul Wright, scheduled for an arbitration against the Baltimore Blast.
The Blast informed Wright last month that his salary would be cut to $46,000 because he didn't move to Baltimore during the summer. Wright said he didn't move because there was no certainty the league would be back and because training camp wasn't underway. He since has filed for free agency.
Both Wright and Quinn, considered elite players, command high salaries.
"I don't think they can get both of us," Quinn said.