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Quinn Races Sockers Past Tacoma, 7-2

Times Staff Writer

Brian Quinn is like Rob de Castella with a powerful scissors kick.

Quinn also is the Bill Bradley of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

The Socker midfielder runs like the winner of this year’s Boston Marathon and moves without the ball with the style and efficiency of the former New York Knick forward.

Quinn scored two goals, assisted on another and ran what seemed like miles in the Sockers’ convincing 7-2 win against the Tacoma Stars Tuesday night at the San Diego Sports Arena.

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Playing in front of 9,432 fans, the Sockers took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five MISL Western Division final series. They also ran (an appropriate description) their home playoff record to 25-0.

Game 3 will be at the Tacoma Dome Thursday night.

Following the pace set by Quinn, the Sockers dominated Tuesday night’s game from the outset.

Many of his teammates warm up by blasting liners at the net or against the sideboards, but Quinn runs from one red line to another.

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Players do tricks with the ball. Quinn jogs. His teammates dribble around in circles. Quinn sprints.

“Someone like Branko (Segota) drills shots,” Quinn said. “That is his game. I don’t know if I’ll have a good touch that night, so I run. I enjoy scoring, but my game isn’t built solely on that. I have a talent for doing what’s needed.”

The game starts and Quinn keeps running.

“When I was in Ireland,” said Quinn, “I used to just stand in front of the goal and score. Here, I have to do what is good for myself and the team. I have to create space.

“If you move and don’t get the ball, something opens up elsewhere for your teammates.”

Sounds like what Bradley used to say when he opened up the floor for Walt Frazier and Dave DeBusschere.

With just 1:48 gone by in Tuesday night’s game, Quinn created space for himself.

He lost his man, sped into the penalty box, received a lead pass from Ade Coker and knocked a right-footer into the far corner of the net.

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Segota scored a power-play goal on a right-footer from the top of the circle to make it 2-0. Forty-five seconds later, Jean Willrich dribbled the length of the field and smashed a right-footer into the net from the top of the circle. Sockers, 3-0.

Early in the second quarter, Quinn positioned himself near the right post and lobbed a rebound over Star goalie Peter Mowlik. 4-0.

On the fifth Socker goal, Cha Cha Namdar dribbled into the Star zone and looked to pass the ball because his team was a man down. However, when Namdar couldn’t find anyone to pass to, he blazed a right-footer into the top corner of the net.

Assist to Quinn, who has five goals and seven assists for 12 points in the playoffs.

It was 5-0 at half. Eight San Diego players had a point as the Sockers moved at will offensively.

The Sockers scored two goals in the second half when Star defenders Joe Waters and Ray Evans knocked balls in their own net. Segota and Veee were credited with the goals.

Defensively, the Sockers continually pressured the Stars and defender Gary Collier played a tight man-to-man game on Steve Zungul.

Zungul, the leading scorer in the league, was held to just one goal for the second straight game. He scored on a right-footer late in the third quarter to make it 6-2.

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Outside of Zungul’s goal and a delicate touch goal by Preki, goalkeeper Zoltan Toth (15 saves on 24 shots) was unbeatable.

And Quinn--who scored on two of his three shots and never stopped moving--was unrelentless.


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