Most coaches whose soccer team had scored only once in its first three games would be near despair, especially if facing a stretch of five games in 10 days. But Team America Coach Alkis Panagoulias feels his offense, or lack thereof, is nothing to worry about.
"I know our problems and I'm not too worried," said Panagoulias, whose team suffered its first loss, 1-0, at Montreal Sunday. "The scoring chances are there, we just aren't finishing. But we outplayed Montreal statistically, and I am sure the goals will come."
Forward Alan Green, whose goal against Tulsa on May 8 is Team America's only regulation score this season, also feels the offense will improve.
"I had a very good chance in the first half and we created a couple more chances in the second half," said Green, a 25-goal scorer with the Washington Diplomats in 1980. "But it is difficult for us. We are still an inexperienced team, but we have to just keep playing our best. The more we'll play, the better we'll get."
Team America's front line was hurt further when forward Chico Borja reinjured his right ankle during Sunday's loss. Borja, who had a stress fracture in that ankle last year while playing for the Cosmos, limped badly before being taken out early in the second half and is questionable for Wednesday's 8 p.m. game against Seattle at RFK Stadium.
"His ankle was very swollen and painful and that's why I took him out," said Panagoulias. "I don't think he will play Wednesday, though."
Panagoulias said he may replace Borja with Andrew Parkinson or Sonny Askew. Team America also is expected to get a boost this week from several free agents from the Major Indoor Soccer League, who will join the squad on a temporary basis. David Lischner, a 5-foot-10 forward from the Buffalo Stallions, will train with the team today and Baltimore's Mark Lindsay and Kansas City's Greg Villa and Greg Makowski are expected later this week.
North American Soccer League President Howard Samuels was expected to ask its teams for more players at yesterday's league meetings in Chicago.
After Wednesday's game, Team America will play Watford, an English First Division club team, Thursday in Jamaica and San Diego Saturday. Next week, a game against Golden Bay will be followed by one in St. Louis against Dynamo Minsk, a Soviet club team.
"Not even the top professional clubs play that many games in such a short time," said Panagoulias. "It will be very hectic. I would like to win all of the games, but that is not realistic. It will be tough."