By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 2, 2001
Help is on the way for the undermanned defense, at least temporarily. With four starters out because of injury, and one (John Maessner) out with a red-card suspension, coach Alfonso Mondelo has had to make some call-ups.
Mondelo said he plans to bring in defenders Don Gramenz and John Coughlin from the Minnesota Thunder and Scott Cannon from the Charleston Battery today to help during Saturday's match at Chicago.
Cannon has MLS experience. He played with Colorado in 1996 and with Columbus in 1998. He was the 2000 A-League's defender of the year with Richmond.
Of those three defenders, Mondelo said two likely will make the trip to Chicago.
"We'll see who are the two that best suit us," Mondelo said. "One of those defenders will play (against Chicago) and the other will provide depth."
The call-ups became necessary after Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Fire. Defender Kevin Anderson left early with a hamstring injury. He'll be out for about 10-14 days.
Defensive midfielder Joe Addo did not play Saturday because of a hamstring injury and Mondelo said Addo is "50-50" for Saturday's rematch.
Addo recently received his green card work visa and no longer counts as one of the team's Senior International players. That leaves the Mutiny with an open Senior International spot, which might be filled by a defender.
The team also has a discovery player spot open. A discovery player is anyone not under MLS contract who a team finds and petitions the league to assign to it.
Mondelo said a trade isn't out of the question, but not likely this week.
"In order to get a player that can help you, you have to give something up," Mondelo said. "We're not willing to do that yet."
Defenders Steve Trittschuh (fractured left leg) and Chad McCarty (broken right ankle) are out until at least June. Trittschuh, however, participated in some light drills Tuesday and could return sooner than planned.
"We're just going to ride this out," Mondelo said. "I think the players are rallying around each other. Don't they say, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger?"'
KARTES MIGHT BE OUT: Mondelo said it is likely rookie forward Gus Kartes will miss the Chicago game to train with the U.S. under-20 national team. Kartes, from Tarpon Springs, hasn't made a final decision.
In anticipation of Kartes being gone, Mondelo called up forward Paul Schneider from Minnesota. Schneider spent preseason with the Mutiny and was one of the last players released before the season opener.
DIALLO, VALDERRAMA MISS PRACTICE: Mamadou Diallo, who will miss Saturday's game as part of his two-game suspension, missed practice Tuesday to visit with MLS officials in New York about his red card two weeks ago.
Carlos Valderrama also was absent. He flew to Colombia to be with his sick father. He is expected back by the end of the week.
PRO DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: The Tampa Bay Extreme women's team and the Tampa Bay Hawks men's team debut Saturday at Countryside. The Extreme plays Texas at 6 and the Hawks play Cocoa at 8.
Both teams are affiliated with top professional leagues. The Extreme has an agreement with the Atlanta Beat of the newly formed Women's United Soccer Association. The Hawks have an agreement with the Mutiny, although not a direct link.
The PDL is below the men's A-League. While the Mutiny may call up players from the Hawks, it almost always calls up players from the A-League.