Test awaits Vaudreuil and 3rd-place Blast


Blast midfielder David Vaudreuil looks at tonight's game with the Dallas Sidekicks as a mirror image of his own situation.

"Playing Dallas is an opportunity we can't afford to miss," said Vaudreuil. "Just like I can't afford not to take advantage of my opportunity to play."

During a meeting yesterday, Blast coach Kenny Cooper made it clear to his third-place team that it can't afford to lose any of its six remaining home games, beginning tonight against Dallas.

As for Vaudreuil, he will be seeing more playing time because of an injury to Tim Wittman, who will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday.

Playing for the injured Wittman in Tacoma last weekend, Vaudreuil scored two goals. Cooper said Vaudreuil, a second-year player who has overcome major knee surgery, is ready for the assignment "and has a quiet confidence."

Vaudreuil, who has six goals and four assists, concurs.

"I had the chance to play early in the season when Tim and Mark Mettrick were both hurt," said the Princeton grad. "I played a regular shift and I had six or seven points in eight or nine games, while alternating at midfield with Billy Ronson. I got comfortable playing the position then, but we weren't winning and it got overshadowed.

"In Tacoma, I had two goals and I was glad I was able to contribute. I still have plenty of motivation. But, again, the team isn't winning and that's the most important thing. I hope I'll be able to do some of the little things Timmy does that help us win, the intangibles, like providing some leadership and composure."

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