Washington Diplomats' Captain Jimmy Steele and the team's all-time leading scorer, Paul Cannell, will be traded by the NASL team at the end of the reason, club officials said yesterday.
Steele, suspended by the league for the rest of the regular season, and Cannell, benched Wednesday night, both said yesterday that they would welcome a trade.
"I want to get out of here," Steele said after the team finished practice. "I don't want to play on a team run by (General Manager) John Carbray. When the season's over, I want to go someplace else."
Cannell, Steele's closest friend on the team, said Wednesday night after sitting out the 5-1 win over Tampa Bay that he wanted to be traded.
Coach Gordon Bradley and Carbray both reacted calmly to the players' demands yesterday, denying that any final decision to trade them had been made.
"Any player who wants to be traded I'll trade," Bradley said. "But I'll trade them when it suits me. Not when it suits them. Right now they are part of this team."
But team sources said that Bradley already has decided to trade the two beacuse "gordon feels they've let him down. What's more, he thinks they've become a divisive force on the team. Some players side with Paul and Jimmy but some don't even want to talk to them."
Cannel and Steele are each in their third season with the Dips, Cannell having played here in 1976, 1978 and this year and Stelle since 1977. They are two of the most colorful players, popular with the fans on and off the field. Neither will play Sunday When the Dips face the Toronto Blizzard at 2:30 p.m. at RFK Stadium.
"John Carbray has been out to get me for awhile because he doesn't think I take the game seriously," Cannell said yesterday. "It just isn't true. I like to party as much as anyone but I take the game seriously. I'd never do anything to hurt this team."
Carbray said he had "no idea what Paul is talking about" when told that Cannell had said the general manager was "out to get him."
"Paul didn't get selected to play Wednesday because Gordon Bradley determined he didn't belong in the lineup," Carbray said. "It was his decision and his alone."
But, Carbray added, "I think Gordon's decision to go with (alan) Green and (Bobby) Stokes up front was a good one."
Team sources said Carbray had urged Bradley to trade Cannell and Steele following the 1978 season. But Bradley, who has maintained that Steele is the team's best natural leader, wanted them back this season.
Bradley indicated a week ago that he was resigned to accepting Cannell a Steele, "for what they are because they do a lot of good things for us," for the rest of this eason, but not necessarily beyond that.
Steele, 29, has been one of Bradley's pet projects since he becomes coach in October, 1977. Bradley often has said that "Jimmy knows more about soccer than anyone on the team," and he has tried to convince Steele to become a more active team leader. That was one of the reasons he was named captain.
Cannell, 25, has been the club's best known and most outspoken plaer. He often has said that one of his main goals in life "is to see Rfk Stadium filled for a Diplomats' game."
Yesterday, he said that he did not want to leave Washington but felt he needed a change for his career.
"I love this city, I love the people and everything about it," he said. "But if I'm not happy with my soccer I'm not happy. And right now I'm unhappy with my situation here.
"Gordon said a couple of things to me that were just plain illogical. I hadn't scored for four games, I know that, but, I hate to say it, how many games has it been since Greenie scornd?"
Green had not scored in nine games.
In benching Cannell, Bradley pointed out that even though Green had been scoreless longer, "he's been playing well and creatng chances. Paul hasn't."