By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 25, 2001
Perry Van Der Beck realizes the season is all but over. His team, which he took over after Alfonso Mondelo resigned July 6, is 3-16-1 with eight games left.
It's not this season Van Der Beck is worried about. He has his sights set on 2002.
The next eight games will go a long way to determine which players stick around.
"Every game from here on out is important," Van Der Beck said. "The motivation has to come from within. We do what we can but once they step on the field it comes down to them. These are things that I'm watching. Who can self-motivate and who can't."
Van Der Beck has yet to win as Mutiny coach. Tampa Bay has lost six straight and 12 of 13.
"I hope they have a passion for the game and stay committed," Van Der Beck said. "I don't care who they're playing against.
"There's times when I'll ask players to do certain things and if they step up and do that, then you know what? He wants to play. If they don't, then you know what? Maybe I'm just not getting through to them. There's players that I've asked them to do things and they've stepped up and did them."
ALL-STAR: Forward Mamadou Diallo was named to the East team for Saturday's MLS All-Star Game in San Jose. This is Diallo's second All-Star Game appearance, both as a reserve. He was the Most Valuable Player in the 2000 game.
Diallo has nine goals and four assists in 15 games this season. He is the only Mutiny All-Star.
PENA PLAYS: Defensive midfielder Danny Pena got to Tampa at midnight Friday and played 90 minutes in the Mutiny's 2-1 loss to Colorado on Saturday. Pena, who had played for Los Angeles since 1997, is expected to stay in midfield the rest of the season.
"Danny played well. He held his own," Van Der Beck said. "He hasn't played for a few weeks because of an injury so I told him to just give me what you can give me. I think Danny's got more to give. He's a leader, a guy that's going to lead by example.
"I'd like to bring more of those players to this team."
SENEGAL QUALIFIES: Senegal qualified for the 2002 World Cup with Saturday's 5-0 win over Namibia. It's the first time Senegal has qualified, and it has meaning to the Mutiny.
Diallo is a member of the Senegal national team, though he hasn't played any qualifying matches.
He likely will play in the World Cup, which means at least a month from the Mutiny next season. And if Diallo plays well it would mean exposure, which could mean an offer from bigger European clubs.
TAKING A LITTLE BREAK: The Mutiny will practice today before taking four days off for the All-Star break. The team will reconvene Monday to prepare for Saturday's home game against San Jose.
GROUNDBREAKING: Construction on the Mutiny's new locker room and administrative offices begins Thursday at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in north Tampa. Completion is expected next spring. The Mutiny will share the facility with the Hillsborough County United soccer club.