St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Coach seeks tighter defense


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 25, 2001

It wasn't supposed to be this way for coach Alfonso Mondelo. He was supposed to fine-tune the team, maybe make a change here or there, and turn Tampa Bay into an MLS Cup contender.

Then came injuries to defenders Chad McCarty and Steve Trittschuh and now the loss of forward Mamadou Diallo to a red-card suspension and possibly to Senegal national team duties. Mondelo has been forced to go deep into his bench in the first month of the season.

In Saturday's 3-1 win over the Metro-Stars, the Mutiny allowed 21 shots, 10 on goal, despite being a player up when Pedro Alvarez was sent off in the 28th minute with his second yellow card.

Mondelo hinted he may move Joe Addo back to defense and replace him with Jair at defensive midfield for Saturday's home match against Chicago. Other than that, he is nearly out of options for the defense.

"You have to keep tinkering," Mondelo said. "Ideally we would've had everybody healthy and we could just fine-tune the team. But now we have to make changes. We're winning, and that's the bottom line, but not the way I see this team playing. They're capable of playing better. If we're really going to make a run at it, we're going to have to tighten up defensively."

Offensively, the Mutiny may feel the loss of Diallo for longer than the game he will sit out Saturday for the red card. Diallo said he likely will play for the Senegal national team in its May 6 World Cup qualifier at Egypt.

"It's not for sure yet," Diallo said. "But I think that I will play." That means he would miss the May 5 game at Chicago.

Mondelo said he may use a one-forward alignment against the Fire, with Ali Curtis alone up front. Rookies Gus Kartes and Devin Barclay could also see playing time in Diallo's absence.

"It just gives somebody else on the roster a chance to prove themselves," Mondelo said. "If this team is to go far this year, everyone's got to contribute."

SPEAKING OF THE RED CARD: Diallo wasn't happy about getting ejected in the final minutes against New York/New Jersey. He has a feud with defender Mike Petke that started last season when Diallo collided with goalkeeper Mike Ammann.

Diallo was carded for a tackle from behind on Petke.

"(Petke) talks too much," Diallo said. "He was talking all week. I went for the ball, and then he stood up and fell down. It wasn't a red card."

HOUSER'S DAY: Retired defender Chris Houser will be honored during Saturday's match. Houser joined the Mutiny in 1998 and was active in community relations. He was forced out of the league this month because of colitis, the ailment that kept him out of all but nine games in 1999.

Houser played 24 games as a rookie, earning the nickname "The Undertaker" for his physical style. After recovering from colitis, Houser fell out of favor with former coach Tim Hankinson and played in three games last season.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Devil Rays/baseball
  • Lopez guts one out
  • White, Seay falling short
  • Rose joins pen with a shot at starting
  • Marlins stadium bill heads to Senate

  • Lightning
  • Lightning signs its top pick from 2000

  • St. Anthony's Triathlon
  • U.S. triathletes search for prominence of past

  • NBA
  • Rivers, Magic must adjust their focus

  • Mutiny
  • Coach seeks tighter defense

  • Outdoors
  • Captain's corner

  • Et cetera
  • Sports briefs

  • Preps
  • Gaither duo earns state doubles title
  • River Ridge, Beck blank Ridgewood
  • Senior no-hits Royal Knights
  • Thursday track meets
  • Around the county
  • Falcon's run for two titles ends in final

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts