The Washington Diplomats' back-up goalkeeper, Bobby Stetler, said yesterday he feels he can start for another North American Soccer league team and "wants to be traded."
"It's all over for me here," said Stetler, who played two games this year while regular keeper Billy Irwin was recuperating from a hamstring pull. "i think it's time for me to go somewhere else and play. I think I'm good enough to start for some teams in the league. I went to (Coach) Gordon (Bradley) and told him and he said he would help me."
Bradley, preparing for a tough three-game trip, said he was in the "process of trying to find another club for Bobby," but was more concerned about the injury to Alan Green, who pulled a groin muscle in Sunday's game against New England.
"Alan will be out for about four weeks. that's a big loss," said Bradley. "We have already lost Jimmy Steele (broken jaw), Gary Darrell (knee operation) and Mike Bakic (Achilles' tendon injury) for long periods. Now with Alan out, that's four possible starters out injured.
"We'll need them back soon. Any more injuries and we'll have trouble. Right now we can manage because our other players are playing real well."
Stetler has been the backup keeper since signing with Washington as a free agent in 1977. He worked behind Eric Martin that season and was Irwin's reserve both last season and this.
This season, he started the games against Philadelphia (Diplomats won, 4-3) and Memphis (Diplomats won 4-1). However, Bradley was not overly impressed with Stetler's performances.
After meeting and discussing his trade wishes with Bradley, Stetler was taken off the 16-man travelling team.
"There's no hard feelings," said Bradley. "I'm trying to help him find another club. We both feel that may be best."
Dragan Radovich, the Dips' second-round draft pick this year, has been moved up to No. 2 goalie.
"There's no sense in putting Bobby on the (traveling) team," Bradley said. "If we run into some problems or injuries, we will go to him, of course. But, meanwhile, we plan to work with Radovich."
Without Green, who has nine goals and three assists to lead the team in scoring, striker Paul Cannell and winger Bobby Stokes will be expected to carry much of the scoring load the next few weeks.
Green limped of in the early minutes of Sunday's 3-2 come-from-behind overtime win over New England. Cannell scored all three goals to save the Diplomats from defeat.
The Diplomats, 9-3 with 81 points, eight behind the Eastern Division-leading Cosmos (10-2), play in Toronto Wednesday night, in Tampa Bay Saturday night and in Detroit Wednesday, June 13.