It appears likely that Gordan Bradley, new coach of the Washington Diplomats, will hire Joe Mallett as his assistant. Mallett was Bradley's aide in New York.
A formal announcement will probably be made before the start of the indoor soccer season, Jan. 7
The Dips had two other coaches, Dennis Viollet and Alan Spavin, both of whom coached in 1977, on their payroll at season's end.
Spavin, who took over June 30 when Viollet was fired, returned to England in October when he realized he was not going to be retained. He had been offered a one-year services contract but turned it down and is now playing in England.
When Viollet was removed as coach after 3 1/2 years in the job the club insisted he had resigned voluntarily and would remain a part of the organization in the area of player development.
Since then he has scouted for the club while seeking a coaching job elsewhere. At one point Viollet was rumored going to Tampa Bay. His contract with te Dips ends Dec. 31. It will not be renewed.
Steve Rankin will be the team's new publicity director. Rankin worked as PR director in Fort Lauderdale last year and with the same organization when it was in Miami in 1976. He will replace Norb Ecksl, who took over on an interim basis for Terry Hanson in September. Hanson was promoted to assistant general manager. Ecksl will remain with the club in an "administrative post."
While the Dips play musical people, the North American Soccer League continues to play musical franchises. Since The Cosmos won the league title Aug. 28 four franchises have moved, and four new ones have been granted.
The four moves: Las Vegas to San Diego - the club moved from San Diego to Las Vegas prior to the '77 season so figure that one out - no new name as yet: Hawaii to Tulsa - this club was in San Antonio in '76 - again no new name; Connecticut to Oakland, they will be called the Stompers; and St. Louis, one of the league's original franchises, becomes the California Surf in Anaheim.
A new franchise was awarded to Philadelphia, which had a club for four years, known as the Atoms.The new club will be the Rockers. Denver, Detroit and Memphis also have received franchises. Thus, barring further expansion, there will be 22 teams in the NASL next season, 14 of which were in the league last season.
New franchises mean recycled coaches. In addition to Bradley moving from New York to Washington, Malcolm Musgrove has moved from Connecticut to Chicago; Bill Foulkes, fired in midseason at Chicago, has been hired by Tulsa and Mirko Stojanovic has been brought in by Oakland to replace Musgrove.
There will be two new coaches in the league. Memphis has hired Malcolm Allison, a top English League coach, and Portland has hired Don Megson, also from the English League. San Diego, Detroit, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay have vacancies to fill.