Sockers Sign Lazer Defender Mokalis

The Sockers obtained veteran defender Gus Mokalis of the Los Angeles Lazers Tuesday in return for three draft choices, including a first-rounder.

The Sockers gave up their first-round pick in 1988, second-round pick in 1989 and third-round pick in 1990 to obtain the rights to Mokalis, Socker spokeswoman Roberta Gonzales said.

Mokalis, a five-year veteran, was second on the Lazers' all-time list in blocked shots.

"Gus is a player both Sockers head Coach Ron Newman and I have coveted for several years," Socker owner Bob Bell said. "He is a solid defender and will give the Sockers a lot of experience on defense. Gus will enhance the team remarkably."

"It feels great to be going to San Diego," Mokalis, 31, said. "I'm looking forward to my association with the Sockers and the people of San Diego. San Diego is a super soccer organization, and I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Mokalis, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, played for six years in Greece before joining the Lazers in 1982. He was named to the Western Division All-Star team for the second time last season.

Newman is on a scouting trip in Europe with assistant coach Johann Aarnio.

The 1987-88 Major Indoor Soccer League schedule also was announced Tuesday. The Sockers will open Nov. 7 at Wichita. Their home opener is Nov. 14 against Kansas City.

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