Blast happy to tune in to show that is Hirmez


Waad Hirmez predicted last season he would play in Baltimore this year. Last night, he said he expects to arrive here as early as Thursday.

Blast vice president Drew Forrester verified Hirmez's prediction indeed had come true, saying the flamboyant San Diego All-Star has agreed to financial terms and only "summer camp and offseason obligations" have to be ironed out. That is expected to be completed today.

"I'm looking forward to being there," Hirmez said from his home in San Diego. "I'm ready to do the things I used to do for the Sockers in Baltimore. I wish San Diego a little luck this year, but not too much, because this year, we're [the Blast] going to beat them."

What Hirmez did in San Diego the last seven seasons is drive opposing teams crazy. He is a showman. A man who will leap onto the Plexiglas surrounding the field after scoring a goal and whip fans into a frenzy. As a Socker, it was a major irritant to the Blast. As a member of the Blast, it will be an enjoyable bit of color.

Blast coach Kenny Cooper said yesterday he looks at Hirmez as the missing link.

"I've felt we were one player short," Cooper said. "It is no secret we've wanted him. He has been a pain to play against, because he is a winner. He has a habit of coming through when the game is on the line. I think he's going to play even better for us."

The Blast has spent the summer building its defense. Coming off the worst season in franchise history, Cooper decided to build from the back and depend on a strong work ethic to make up for the lack of an All-Star scoring attack.

Now, with Hirmez, the Blast's scoring attack suddenly looks strong, too. Hirmez joins Domenic Mobilio, Billy Ronson, Rusty Troy and newly signed Rod Castro, also a former Socker, on the front lines.

But Hirmez, Cooper admitted, is different from the others.

"I intend to address the team before Waad gets here," said Cooper. "He's a showman and our guys are going to have to

adjust and accept that. Waad can help us in midfield. He can score goals. He also is charismatic and we need that."

Hirmez, 28, is coming off the best season of his career -- 43 goals, 20 assists. He has a strong left foot, which should help balance the Blast offense. And he, like his new teammates, has something to prove.

RF "I'm leaving San Diego with nothing but bitterness," Hirmez said.

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