Oklahoma City Slickers 3, Nashville Diamonds 0 (07.09.82)

Nashville 0-3 Oklahoma City

July 9, 1982 — Hale Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)

Scoring Summary
OKC — Tom Alioto 25′
OKC — Jeff Bourne (Bill Bourne) 27′
OKC — Jeff Bourne (Bill Bourne) 82′

Diamonds May Continue

(Nashville Tennessean, 07.10.82)

By John Lewis Pitts

NASHVILLE — Nashville Diamonds officials plan to meet with potential local investors next week in hopes of keeping the struggling American Soccer League franchise alive for the remainder of the season.

And head coach, Hector Guevara, the No. 2 stockholder in the team behind principal owner Ralph Woerheide, said last night he expected the team to return in 1983 “and avoid the mistakes we have made this year.”

The decision to meet with the potential investors was a dramatic turnaround from statements made by team officials last week, when they said the club would likely shut down if 15,000 fans did not turn out for a two-game series with the Oklahoma City Slickers, which began last night.

Less than 300 people were in the stands at Tennessee State’s Hale Stadium last night to see the Nashville team lose 3-0. The Diamonds’ record dropped to 2-12-1 with the loss. The two teams meet again tomorrow night.

Those on hand for the match heard Diamonds’ public relations manager John Swauger declare at halftime that “we will be here Sunday night and we will keep going,” on the public address system at Hale Stadium.

The meeting on Wednesday between the Diamonds’ management and a group of five Nashville-area investors will offer the locals a chance to buy “shares” in the franchise,  Guevara said last night. “We’re interested in bringing more people into the business, to bring some people with some new ideas into the picture,” he explained.

The current ownership of the team, a five-man group headed by Woerheide, claims to have already invested $700,000 in the first-year franchise.

But Swauger said the owners did not want to give up too quickly.

“The owners talked by phone today and decided that they just couldn’t quit … the team is not financially insolvent, but the management is disappointed that their considerable investment has not generated at least some return,” Swauger told reporters. “We’re just not sure that the turnout tonight is an absolute indication of a lack of interest in professional soccer by the people of Middle Tennessee,” he added.

The Nashville team has averaged less than 100 paying customers for its first seven home games of the season, but head coach Guevara declared last night that “we are definitely not quitting at this time.”

Woerheide, a Chicago-based building consultant, said last night from his Illinois home that he wanted “to continue playing in Nashville if it’s at all possible … but I can’t tell what the future might be until after the meeting on Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, it was learned that none of the Nashville players received full salaries for their most recent two-week pay period. The paychecks of the Diamonds players range from $300 to $1,250 for each two-week pay period, but one player — who asked not to be identified — said the players got only $200 from the team when they were paid two Fridays ago.

“Right now, most of us are worried that we won’t get paid at all this week,” the player added.

But Diamonds business manager Nelson Burns said the players would receive the remainder of their salary today. He blamed a Franklin bank’s failure to cash a check issued in Chicago for the payment problem. “We’re not having any problems getting the cash we need to work with,” Burns said.

Last night’s loss was the third straight for the team. Tom Alioto scored at 24:49 on an alert play after Mark Kerlin’s missed shot, then Jeff Bourne broke away for a goal at 26:16 to send the slumping hosts reeling. Bourne scored his second goal of the night at 81:06 on Bill Bourne’s second assist of the night.

Oklahoma City out-shot the Diamonds 16-12. Nashville goalie Brien McInerney was credited with 12 saves, while Phil Parkes had four stops for the winners.