Team America is close to signing striker Greg Villa and defender Tony Bellinger, veterans of the Major Indoor Soccer League, General Manager Beau Rogers said yesterday.
The MISL recently banned its players from playing in the North American Soccer League but Bellinger has a special clause in his contract with the St. Louis Steamers allowing him to play outdoors. Both are expected to play for Team America at Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Villa's outdoors rights are in the process of being acquired from the MISL's Kansas City Comets by the Chicago Sting of the NASL, and will then be transferred to Team America.
"They are both excellent players and can make a difference right away," said Rogers. "The deals should be finalized today."
Villa, 25, has played in two exhibition games with Team America on a tryout basis. Bellinger, 25, was a last-minute addition to Team America's lineup against Dynamo Minsk Wednesday.
"It will take the players some time to adjust from the indoors," Team America Coach Alkis Panagoulias said. "Villa is a big man and we hope he will score for us. We still need an orchestrating midfielder, but I am happy with these players."
Villa spent the last three seasons with Kansas City and St. Louis of the MISL, scoring 55 goals, but has not played outdoors since 1980. He scored Team America's goal in 1-1 exhibition May 19 against Watford.
"They need a goal scorer, so that's what I'll try and be," said Villa, who said he will rejoin Kansas City for the 1983-84 MISL season. "I'm not really sure how I'll be used, and I haven't really talked to Alkis about it."
Bellinger, 25, has played with St. Louis since 1979 and was an honorable mention MISL all-star in 1981. He played outdoors with the Dallas Tornado in 1977-81, and on the team that qualified for the 1980 Olympics.