The Blast signed five players Wednesday, including two goalkeepers, team president and general manager Kevin Healey announced.
Troy Hernandez and William Vanzela will help the Blast replace veteran goalkeeper Sagu and backup Akira Fitzgerald (Loyola Blakefield). The team also added midfielder Marco Mangione (Calvert Hall, Towson University), as well as forwards Lucas Roque and Jamie Darvill (Loyola University). All of the moves are pending approval from the Major Indoor Soccer League.
"I am very pleased with the recent signings of Troy, William, Lucas, Marco and Jamie," Blast coach Danny Kelly said in a news release. "Troy and William are both quality goalkeepers who have come a long way in a very short time in terms of adapting to the indoor game. I am confident both will be up to the challenge that stands in front of them. Lucas Roque, Marco Mangione and Jamie Darville each have attacking skill sets that will help us win games this year. It's not a question of if they are able to adapt to the indoor game, it's a question of when. Hopefully their learning curve is a short one."
Mangione, the son of former Blast player Nick Mangione, was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team after his senior season at Towson in 2010.
Darvill, an English player who played in college at Loyola University, was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie squad after his first year, was the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009, as well as an All-MAAC first-team selection both years. In 73 games for the Greyhounds, he recorded 36 goals and 27 assists, while leading the team to three straight NCAA College Cup appearances. He spent the 2010 outdoor season with the Real Maryland Monarchs (United Soccer Leagues Second Division) and most recently played for Ebbsfleet United in England.
Hernandez spent the 2012 USL Professional Division season with the Wilmington Hammerheads, who advanced to the championship. The 25-year-old goalkeeper saw his first game action in the Hammerheads' 3-2 quarterfinal win over Richmond on Aug. 25 when the starting goalkeeper left the game with an injury. He went on to earn a 4-3 win over Orlando City in the semifinals to advance Wilmington into the USL PRO championship. He also previously played for Pocono Snow and FC Sonic of the National Premier Soccer League.
Vanzela, who holds dual citizenship in Brazil and Italy, was a member of Italy's World Cup-winning futsal team in 2011. He was named Best Goalkeeper in the 2011 Futsal World Cup. Most recently, he played for Athletico Arzignano in Italy.
Roque moved to the United States from Brazil in 2001. He led his Monarch (Fla.) High School team to a district title and a berth in the Class 3A regional semifinals with 24 goals and 15 assists, and he was honored as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Class 4A-3A-2A Player of the Year in 2004.
The Blast will host the Chicago Soul at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at 1st Mariner Arena in the 2012-13 season opener.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun