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Sockers’ Quinn Might Add Coaching Duties

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Socker midfielder Brian Quinn likely will have something over his teammates when the Major Soccer League season begins Oct. 19--a job as one of their coaches.

A contract has not been signed, but Quinn and Coach Ron Newman confirmed the team has offered Quinn, considered one of the MSL’s best players, an opportunity to become an assistant coach as well.

The arrangement would not only add to Quinn’s responsibilities, it would add to his paycheck, which would have been drastically cut under the league’s new salary cap of $630,000 per team.

Quinn, 30, earned $60,000 last season and, along with defender Kevin Crow, had the team’s third-highest salary behind forward Branko Segota ($102,000) and goalie Zoltan Toth ($68,000). Quinn wouldn’t give specifics but said this year’s player/coach salary will “be very close” to what he earned last year.

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There is a sticking point. Owners have yet to agree on parameters regarding player/coach salaries under the new cap.

Wednesday, Commissioner Earl Foreman faxed a ballot to each league member to decide whether such a loophole should be created, according to John Griffin, MSL director of communications.

A final count is not expected until next week, but other teams have already taken the same detour around the cap. In Cleveland, midfielder Kai Haaskivi also serves as head coach. Goalkeeper Chris Sobieski of Dallas and defender Joe Waters of Tacoma are entering their second years as assistants.

Also, Griffin said, St. Louis is trying to work a similar deal with defender Fernando Clavijo, and Kansas City is toying with the idea of creating a player/coach position.

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That’s six teams, a sound majority in an eight-team league.

Quinn, known for a tenacious style of play, said he didn’t want his new title to be a misnomer.

“I don’t want to take a coaching position just to be a figurehead,” he said. “I would like to be involved.”

Newman said he looked forward to such an arrangement.

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“I respect his views,” Newman said. “He has got the makeup to become an excellent coach when he decides to hang up his boots.”

Newman went on to say that as team captain, Quinn already serves in a role similar to that of a coach.

“I would always confer with Brian,” Newman said. “But now I’ll definitely discuss things with Brian more than before. In the past I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him as a player.”

Newman said Quinn’s appointment will not affect Erich Geyer, who will continue as an assistant.

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