Washington Diplamats president Steve Danzansky will recommend to the team's board of directors this fall that it expand its budget in order to recuit and sign players needed to rebuild the team.
"I will recommend to the board that we increase the budget in two areas," Danzansky said yeaterday. "First, in terms of the money we spend looking for players, checking out draft choices, a more complete scouting system and player-development program. And when we find the players we feel can help make our club more competitive, we will spend more to sign them if necessary."
The Dips were humiliated, 8-2, by the Cosmos Wednesterday night. After the game, Cosmo forward Steve Hunt called the Diplomats "the worst team we've come across." And Pele added that, "They were so much easier tonight than last year. I couldn't understand it."
Washington Alan Spavin said he told the players at halftime, when they were trailing 5-0, that he was very disappointed with their play. "But you have to admit with the players we have right now, and the players they have, it's going to be tough for us to beat the Cosmos," he said.
Danzansky said he "makes no apologies" for the amount of money the club spent on players this season, adding that, "Other than the Cosmos, our salary scale is one of the highest in the league.
"We should have been able to field a competitive, winning team with the players we had this year but things didn't work out the way we hoped," he said.
In addition to spending more money (Danzansky said he had not yet decided how much more would be spent), the Dips will spend it differently. General manager John Carbray said yesterday the club would look first within the North American Soccer League for help and then overseas. And when the team does recruit overseas, it will not concerntrate strictly on England as it has done in the past.
"We're planning on recruiting in South America and in the Carribean and other parts of Europe," he said. "But first we're going to look within the NASL and see what kind of players are available. It's surprising the players who you can get sometimes."
The Dips learned that lesson the hard way. Carbray admitted yesterday that the team had made a deal for Steve David, currently the league's leading scorer, which call for David to come to Washington for cash from Miami last January.
But on the recommendation of former coach Dennis Viollet, who had heard negative reports on David's play during the winter in Trinidad the club decided not to go through with the deal. David was eventually traded to Los Angeles and has scored 24 goals, five less than the entire Washington team.
"Obviously we wish we had made that deal now," Carbray said. "That is one reason we're going to look more closely within the league. We also feel that if a player has done well here before, he's a better gamble. When you bring a player in from overseas, you never know how he's going to adapt to playing over here."
The Dips, who made the playoffs last year with a 14-10 record, are currently 9-14 and already have been mathmatically eliminated from the playoffs.
Spavin, who took over from Viollet as coach June 29, said he was disappointed in Wednesday's result but thought his team "was a bit awestruck out there.
"You find yourself marking Franz Beakenbauer or Pele or Giorgio Chinaglia and it's a big occasion for you." Spavin said, "I think we were awed by who we were playing."
Spavin also added that he didn't think money was necessarily the answer to building a team, but said, "In professional sports, money to get players like the Cosmos have. I don't know whether the organization wants to commit itself to spending that kind of money. But there's no question that money talks."
Carbray also said that the team would be actively looking for more black players during the offseason. "With our population, it would be very good for us to have some black players on the team (Gary Darrell and Art Welch are the only black Dips right now)," Carbray said. "We're not going to sign a guy just because he's black, but we will be looking for good black players."