The Washington Diplomats don't open their 1979 soccer schedule until March 25 but they came away from yesterday's North American Soccer League draft feeling they had scored their first victory of the new year.
"Never in a million years would we have suspected that we would come up with both these guys," said General Manager John Carbray. "We could not be happier."
The two who delighted Carbray and Coach Gordon Bradley are Dan Salvemini, a midfielder from the University of California, Berkeley, and Dragan Radovich, a goalkeeper from St. Francis of Brooklyn.
They were the first two names on a list Bradley left with Carbray. The coach left for South America on a scouting trip Friday. The Dips had hoped that either Salvemini or Radovich would be available for their first pick -- sixth in the first round. They only dreamed the other would be available for their second pick of the round -- 16th.
"There are maybe eight or 10 players in this draft who might play a lot as rookies," Bradley said before he left. "Salvemini and Radovich are two."
The Dips first picked Salvemini, 21, 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, using a pick they acquired from the Oakland Stompers (while they were in Hartford two years ago). Then, using their pick, they chose Radovich.
Radovich is 22, 5-10, 170 pounds and was a first team all-American goalie this year. Salvemini was also a first team All-America. Both are American citizens, although Radovich was born in Yugoslavia. In 54 college games Radovich had 30 shutouts.
On the third round they chose Kip Germain, 21, a defender from William and Mary who played for the same Annandale Boys Club team that produced Gary Etherington, a member of the Cosmos. Germain's father Everett coaches the team. Also on the third round, the Dips chose Aleks Mihalovic, 21, a midfielder from Jacksonville College.
On the fourth round, the club took Carlos Curling, 22, a midfielder from Adelphi.
In all, 96 college and high school players were chosen by the 24 clubs. Njego Pesa, a forward from Ulster Community College in New York was the first player chosen. He was taken by the Dallas Tornado.