Tonight’s season opener
CEDAR RAPIDS RAMPAGE (0-1) @ BLAST (0-0)
When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.
Where: SECU Arena, Towson University
Tickets: 410-73-BLAST, ticketmaster.com or baltimoreblast.com
Outlook: The two-time defending Major Arena Soccer League champion Blast begin a new era at SECU Arena when they take on visiting Cedar Rapids. What to expect? Much more action and goals with a smaller playing field compared with the team’s former home, Royal Farms Arena. The Blast have all their key players back as they challenge for a third straight title. Vini Dantas, Tony Donatelli, Lucas Roque and Andrew Hoxie will provide balanced scoring, and the defense has valuable experience in Pat Healey and Adriano Dos Santos along with goalkeeper William Vanzela. Cedar Rapids is in its third season and improved significantly last year, going 12-8 after winning only five games in its first year. Taylor Bond finished with 40 goals and 14 assists, and Gordy Gurson is another threat. Brett Petricek is back in goal for the Rampage, who opened the season with an 11-7 loss at the Milwaukee Wave on Nov. 4.