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Wegerle infuses team with hope

There is new hope in the locker room. Roy Wegerle, the 34-year-old former South Florida Bull and Tampa Bay Rowdie and current U.S. national team member, joins the Mutiny today after being traded by D.C. United for Roy Lassiter.

Is this the missing link? Is this the player who will right the Mutiny's ship after a 1-5 start? It sure hopes so.

"Help is on the way over," Mutiny coach John Kowalski said. "He's an established type player who can do a lot for the team."

And this team needs a lot. The Mutiny has scored five goals. In its current two-game losing streak, the Mutiny has been outscored 8-1.

The trade is not the first move Mutiny president and general manager Nick Sakiewicz has worked this season. Guillermo Jara was plucked off waivers from Los Angeles to help a struggling midfield. And second-round supplemental pick John Jones was released.

And if things don't change soon, it will not be the last move this season.

"We're going to make changes where we see fit," Sakiewicz said. "We're not going to sit around if things aren't going well."

Aside from the acquisition of Thomas Ravelli in the off-season, no move has created the kind of excitement Wegerle's has. The Tampa resident is expected to turn around the Mutiny's fortunes immediately.

"He can step off the plane and play right away. He's that kind of player," midfielder Steve Ralston said. "It may take him a while to get used to the team. But he knows the game. I'm sure once he's out there, he'll just play."

"Roy will bring different aspects to the game that maybe we've been missing," defender Frank Yallop added. "I'm sure (Lassiter) will bring something to their attack. It's probably something we needed and it's something they needed. I hope (Lassiter) doesn't tear it up now."

Lassiter ended his Mutiny career as the team leader in goals (37), points (80), shots (123) and shots on goal (79). He played 4,999 minutes.

DUHANEY OUT: Due to his second-half red card in Los Angeles on Saturday, defender Mike Duhaney must sit out Thursday's game against Columbus. The expected replacement is R.T. Moore, but that isn't certain.

Moore sustained a bruised right thigh in practice Tuesday and was unable to continue. He is day-to-day. Defender Adam Frye also was hurt Tuesday. Frye collided with Ralston and twisted an ankle. He should be able to play Thursday.

QUILL GETS A THRILL: Eric Quillspent last weekend with the MLS Project-40 team, playing two A-League games. In a 1-0 win over Albuquerque, Quill scored the winning goal in the 11th minute.

RANKINGS: As expected, after six games the Mutiny doesn't rank highly in most categories. The Mutiny is better than only the Miami Fusion in goals scored with an average of 0.83. The Fusion has scored four goals in seven games.

The Mutiny is last in team goals, assists (five) and overall points (15). It's last in shots on goal (23) and 11th in attendance (11,326 average in three games). The only Mutiny player to lead in any category is actually a former player. Lassiter is the league leader in offsides with 11.

SEATS ELIMINATED: The Mutiny no longer will offer $3 north end-zone seats. The small section behind the goal was rarely full, so it was discontinued.

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