BALTIMORE — Expectant that a three-game winning start in North American Soccer League play will sustain them in some measure at least temporarily, the Oakland Clippers invade Memorial Stadium here today to battle the Baltimore Bays.
The game is the first of a trio in the East for Clippers and marks the first rematch between the two teams since the Oakland booters captured last year's National Professional Soccer League crown, 4-2, in the Coliseum.
Gordon Jago's Terrapin state eleven, in contrast to the Clippers, hasn't found the victory column in two tries, having dropped 2-1 counts to Los Angeles' Wolves and Vancouver's Royals.
But the Bays are hopeful that their home debut this afternoon will be more productive with an extensively revised squad from that which participated in the '67 NPSL finals.
First there's goalie Carmelo Sedrun, 23 times a World Cupper from Spain. He's backed up Lincoln Abraham Phillips of Trinidad. Terry Adlington, who finished second to Oakland's Mirko Stojanovic in net-minding last year, has been put on the inactive list as a result.
Also gone are former team captain, Dennis Viollet and front-liner Badu da Cruz. Viollet was recently involved in a contract dispute between the Bays and Stoke City in England. Stoke City won out at the asked-for transfer price of $32,000 which Baltimore would not pay.
Da Cruz was released from the team last Monday for reported indifference to training rules and regulations.
Fernando Axevedo, the Bays' top scorer last year, is back again, however.
Oakland will be carrying the impetus of a 4-2 victory over San Diego's Toros Wednesday night into today's clash and could conceivably be in first place in the Pacific Coast Division of the Western Conference should Vancouver lose at Detroit.
Except for outside left Ilija Lukic, who didn't make the trip, the Clippers are in per
Bena and Momcillo Gavric at full backs, Trond Hoftevedt, Milan Cop and Dimitrije Davidovic at halfback and Edgar Marin, Ilija Mitic, Selimir Milosevic, Bill Quiros and Dragan Djukic on the forward line.
Lukic has spent the past week in Hayward's Kaiser Hospital recovering from a collapsed lung, discovered after routine examination following Lukic's complaints of not feeling well after the Clippers' NASL opener againit Boston three weeks ago.
He's expected to be out of action for several weeks.
Oakland moves on to New York after today's game to begin preparations for a Wednesday night skirmish against the Generals, then shifts to Cleveland where it will play the Stokers on Saturday night.