Herald: Storm Can't Weather Slow Start
July 21, 2002
Storm can't weather slow start
Player recall adds to Calgary's woes
The world appears to be ganging up on the downtrotten Calgary Storm.
The A-League soccer club was smacked with another one-two combination on Saturday.
The club awoke to news that the Hamilton Thunder were recalling the four players they had loaned to the Storm.
Then, in the evening, the Storm stumbled out of the starting gate, giving up two goals in the first seven minutes as they fell 3-1 to the Portland Timbers.
"Apparently, we're headed back to Hamilton," said defender Sal Borgh who had been a contributor to the Storm lineup for the past six games. "I just found out before the game. It was tough to hear."
The Storm had negotiated the rights of Borgh, Matt O'Connor, Orlin Chalmers and goalkeeper Wojtek Zarzycki for a six-game stint.
The Storm line is that Hamilton is involved in a playoff race of its own and declined the request to extend the loan. Zarzycki has played in five games and will be available to the Storm for another match, but the other three players have played their last game with Calgary.
"Knowing it was my last performance in Calgary, I wanted to put on a good performance," said Borgh. "I wish the result was better, but things just started off horribly. If we could start over, I'd love to take the first 10 minutes away, but we can't do that.
"I guess I'll just cherish the time in Calgary. It was a great six games."
Storm coach Tommy Wheeldon denied that Hamilton's recall had anything to do with the coaching change in Calgary, although the original deal was worked out by now deposed Storm coach Thomas Niendorf.
"They're all going back, but I would have liked to have kept a couple of them," sighed Wheeldon. "Their owner has called them back and there is nothing we can do about it. The players all wanted to stay and play, but Hamilton has first call on them."
With the loss, Calgary's record fell to 1-16-3.
The Storm did didn't disclose the official attendance, but the Foothill Park stands appeared to hold an average crowd of about 2,000.
It took less than a minute for Portland's McKinley Tennyson to open the scoring when he pounced on a Storm turnover. McKinley also scored at the seventh minute and the Storm were forced to play catchup.
Portland's Fadi Afash scored in the 30th minute and Wheeldon admitted he had visions of a rout developing. But the Storm settled down and Kurt Bosch's goal at the 40th minute gave Calgary hope as the half ended 3-1.
The game was evenly played the rest of the way.
"It could have been a big score against us, something like seven-or-eight nil," said Wheeldon. "The spirit of our lads came through. And there were a few things said at halftime."
Wheeldon is learning nothing comes easy with the Storm.
Not only has he lost his Hamilton contingent, but Calgary strikers Chris Lemire and Waldo Dutra have been added to the Canadian under-20 team and they will depart for Mexico this week for a series of "friendlies" against the United States and Mexico. They will be lost for three games.
"It's a great opportunity, but it leaves me exposed," said Wheeldon. "Everything is against us at the moment, but we'll hang in until the end of the season."
It means the Storm will have to fill out their roster with players from the Prospects, a team that struggled in the closing weeks of the feeder Premier Development League.
© Copyright 2002 Calgary Herald
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