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Blast capsule: Team opens season vs. Silver Knights

Syracuse Silver Knights (0-1) at Blast (0-0)

When: Saturday, 7:35 p.m.

Where: 1st Mariner Arena


Outlook: The Blast opens its 2011-12 Major Indoor Soccer League season against expansion Syracuse. Baltimore is looking to capture its seventh championship after finishing runner-up to the Milwaukee Wave last year. With a number of veteran players retiring after last season — most notably Giuliano Celenza, Pat Morris, Billy Nelson and Robbie Aristodemo — coach Danny Kelly is looking for a number of returning players to step up. Forwards Max Ferdinand (43 points last season) and Machel Millwood (42 points) lead the offense, with midfielder Pat Healey (team-high 48 points) a catalyst in the middle and veteran goalkeeper Sagu returning to anchor the defense with help from Carlos Garcia and Mike Lookingland. Syracuse came away with a 16-15 come-from-behind win over fellow expansion Rochester in its first game Nov. 4 when defender Jeff Hughes scored in the closing minute. The Silver Knights will deal with the chore of playing back-to-back road games after visiting expansion Norfolk on Friday night. The Blast join Syracuse, Rochester and Norfolk in the league's newly-formed Eastern Division, while the Wave competes against Wichita and Missouri in the Central Division.

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