Dr. Tom Fleck, who does not assume his duties as general manager of the fledging Philadelphia Fury until June 30, will jot down dozens of notes Sunday when the second-year club visits the Washington Diplomats at RFK Stadium.
"Right now, I'm not employed yet," said Fleck, a former All-America soccer star at West Chester (Pa.) State and coach at Lehigh University. "There are some changes I plan to make but Sunday I'll just sit and be a very, very interested observer."
Fleck will replace Bob Ehlinger, who quit earlier this season, and will face a rough job in turning the Fury into a respectable organization.
Both the Spartans (1967) and the Atoms (1973-76) folded in Philadelphia because of lack of fan support. The Atoms won the North American Soccer League title in 1973 but were a bust at the gate.
There was no franchise in Philadelphia in 1977. A group of investors, led by rock stars Rick Wakeman and Peter Frampton, purchased the franchise and the Fury were born again last year.
The team finished 12-18 and averaged 8,280 at the gate.
"We plan to turn this thing around," said Fleck, who holds a doctorate in education. "There has been no stability. Nothing for the community to grab onto. The teams and organizations have lacked pride because of the transient nature of the teams in the past.
"Right now, the team is 5-11, and considering the hardships the team has been through, that's not bad. We've got some good quality players a good blend of individuals.