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Diallo likely to stay for rest of season

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By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 22, 2001


Bobblehead doll night appears safe.

Mamadou Diallo likely will stay with the Mutiny for the remainder of the season. MLS, which negotiates player contracts as well as loan and transfer fee agreements, has declined Norwegian Second Division club Valerenga's loan offer.

Valerenga, which is close to qualifying for the First Division, wanted to obtain Diallo for the rest of the season, which ends in October. Diallo played on loan for the club in 1999. Valerenga's loan offer was deemed too low by MLS, and a higher offer is not likely.

"Unless things change soon he'll remain with us," Mutiny general manager Bill Manning said. "That's good for us as a club because Mamadou is an important part of this team. But I also understand the business side of it, and if he had to leave we would accept that."

For a foreign club to obtain a player under contract with another club, it must pay an acceptable transfer fee to the player's current club or league. Diallo is signed with MLS through 2003.

The Mutiny has a Diallo bobblehead night planned for Sept. 9, the last home game of the season.

PRACTICE IMPERFECT: Mutiny practices sometimes have been more exciting than games this season. In May there was the Carlos Valderrama/Eric Quill fight that eventually resulted in Valderrama's trade to Colorado.

Tuesday there was another meltdown. Diallo got into a verbal exchange with defender Scott Cannon during an eight-on-eight drill. During a water break Diallo kept up his chatter with anyone who would listen.

Chad McCarty was listening, and the two started a heated discussion. Diallo shouted, "I am more important to this team." McCarty replied: "You're no different than anybody on this team." The argument ended with Diallo splashing McCarty with water from his water bottle from about 5 feet. Practice resumed with both participating in a scrimmage.

Diallo stayed by himself well after practice, then grabbed his things and left.

"I'm not looking to move (Diallo) out," coach Perry Van Der Beck said. "He's got to understand that he's not an individual. He's playing on a team. Guys make comments to him and he takes it out of context. He takes it personally."

SONORA VISA CLEARED: Discovery player Diego Sonora, signed last week, had his visa cleared and could join the Mutiny by Friday. Argentina's embassy, however, must process the paperwork, and if there is a delay Sonora might not arrive in time for Sunday's home match against New England. Once paperwork is complete, Sonora must wait 48 hours before leaving the country.

EXHIBITION TONIGHT: The Mutiny plays the University of Tampa at 7 tonight at Pepin/Rood Stadium. Van Der Beck said he will use most of the reserve players for at least 45 minutes. Admission is free.

REMINDER: This week's game at home against New England, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to 6 p.m. Sunday to accommodate the Bucs' preseason game at Raymond James Stadium.

INJURY UPDATE: Defender Joe Addo sat out Tuesday's practice with bruised right ribs. He is probable for Sunday. Quill has a strained right hamstring and practiced for half of Tuesday's session. McCarty, out all season with a broken right ankle, hopes to return for the final three games.

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