Las Vegas Voted Out of MISL : Sockers Interested in Reacquiring Veee if Team Doesn't Move

Times Staff Writer

The Major Indoor Soccer League's board of directors voted the Las Vegas franchise out of the league Wednesday for not posting a letter of credit.

However, Socker Owner Bob Bell said the Americans may return to Memphis, where they played the 1983-84 season, or they may be moved to Cincinnati, which has applied for a franchise.

If the franchise does not relocate, its players may become free agents. Bell said Wednesday that he would be interested in former Socker Juli Veee and midfielder Mike Fox if the players become free agents.

Veee, 35, is the all-time leading scorer for the four-time indoor champion Sockers. He was sold with four others to Las Vegas before the 1984-85 season and tied for 11th in last season's MISL scoring race with 50 goals and 21 assists.

"Certainly, depending on what his status is, I've always had interest in Juli," Bell said. "He's still the property of Las Vegas and he has a high salary. I can't get into a bidding contest, and I don't plan to. I'll certainly monitor things and see what happens."

Veee was signed to a four-year, $700,000 contract by Las Vegas before the 1984-85 season. Bell said that he could be hard-pressed to pay Veee because he already has high-salaried players such as Steve Zungul ($180,000), Branko Segota ($100,000) and Jean Willrich ($88,000).

"The players are still the property of Las Vegas," Bell said. "What happens is that Las Vegas can continue to pay their salaries and try to sell them in an orderly way or make them free agents," Bell said. "I'll be in contact and see what their plans are. They have a couple of players I'd love to have."

Bell covets Fox because he is considered among the top American players in the MISL. Fox, a graduate of Cal State Fullerton, had 22 goals and 9 assists in 41 games for Las Vegas.

"I think he has tremendous talent," Bell said. "I think he can be an outstanding player in this league."

The Americans, who have played in Las Vegas for one season, reportedly were trying to unload more than $1 million in salaries from a team which had one of the highest payrolls in the league last season.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World