There are at least two things Coach Ken Furphy can do without when his Washington Diplomats play the Tea Men in Jacksonville, Fla., tonight: an overtime game and former Diplomat Alan Green.
Green is the Tea Men's 5-foot-8 forward who was traded to Jacksonville last season. He is the team's leading scorer, with 14 points.
"We've lost three games in overtime (including the last two) of the five games we've lost," said Furphy. "You get these things when you have a fairly new team. We lack the cohesiveness about us."
Furphy said he is worried about Green, and the Diplomats will try to stymie him as much as possible, using Peter Carr and Malcolm Waldron. "We're going to have to keep a tight clip on him. He's a definite threat to us," Furphy said of Green.
The game will be Carr's first against the Tea Men since they released him last season.
"Alan Green is supposed to be a very good player," Carr said. "We know it's going to be a very hard game. They've won four of the last five they've played."
Sunday, the Diplomats will play the Chicago Sting.
"We'll be playing five games in 11 days. We'll win some of them but not all of them," Carr said. "It will be a crucial time for the team."
Meanwhile, Furphy is trying to help is players find an answer to their overtime problems.
"They don't have overtime abroad," he said. "The reason for the shootout is here there's a belief you need a winner.
"Psychologically, overtime is a big thing (for the players)," Furphy said. "Once you get into overtime, you just can't keep playing well. If you concede a goal, the game's over. That makes a player apprehensive about taking risks. Back defenders don't attack as much as you would like.
"It's a very controversial subject. People who come from other countries just don't appreciate it."
In coming weeks, he said, he will be reworking game formations and playing other Dips, such as forward Paul Cannell and defender Ivan Belfiore.
Defenders Ken Murphy and Willi Kiefer will start against Jacksonville. Furphy would not say who they will replace.
Reached at his home in Florida, Green said he has no apprehensions about tonight's game because, although he'll be playing against his old team, he won't be up against his old teammates.
"It's not the old Washington Diplomats. It's the (old) Detroit Express," he said ". . . it would be different if it was the old team. Then you would have something to prove."