Sonny Werblin, chairman of Madison Square Garden, expressing his disappointment in the Washington Diplomats' 3-6 record, said yesterday that he would not make any changes on the struggling soccer team, "for the sake of change." But he hedged when asked about Coach Gordon Bradley's future with the team.
"As of this moment I have no intention of changing coaches," Werblin said. "I know I'm hedging on the question. I don't want to be pinned down. s
"I won't change for the sake of change. I would only change if I thought we had no chance of winning with Gordon as our coach. I haven't reached that point yet."
Werblin said the team's last home game, a 4-2 loss to Portland, was particularly upsetting to him. After that game, Werblin stormed in and out of the locker room within five minutes. Normally, he lingers to talk to players.
"We were just awful," he said. "The team was terrible. We were lackluster, we did everything poorly. I was extremely disappointed that day. I asked Gordon what he thought went wrong and he said ahe couldn't understand it either."
Madison Square Garden invested $4 million in three players this season, Johan Cruyff, Juan Jose Lozano and Winn Jansen, but Cruyff was the key purchase.
Cruyff and Bradley have clashed over personnel and game strategy, their differences coming to a head after the Portland loss.
"I insisted that the two of them sit down and talk," Werblin said. "Johan came in and a lot was expected of him and of the team. I think it's okay for he and Gordon to have differences but I think it's important that those differences don't have a negative effect on the team.
"I think it's obvious that we haven't jelled yet," Werblin continued. "At times we've looked good but we haven't played with any consistency yet. The thing that's disappointed me more than anything is the record. We didn't expect this team to be 3-6."
As far as any player changes are concerned, Werblin said that was still up to Bradley. "I defer to Gordon on that," he said. "If he feels we need different players, we'll get different players."
Werblin was asked how he would react if the Diplomats lose their fourth straight game Sunday against the Cosmos, a home game that will be on national television.
"I don't know how I would react," he said. "I'm thinking in terms of beating the Cosmos. This is a very important game for all of us, I think. A win could get us going in the right direction and give us some momentum.
"No one on our team from last year has shown a loss of ability. We just haven't won. If we can win this week I think it would be a big boost for the entire organization."