Defender Iain Fraser was the only Blast player to make the All-Major Soccer League first team, released by the league yesterday.
Joining Fraser are two members of the San Diego Sockers championship team, defender Kevin Crow and goalkeeper Victor Nogueira, St. Louis Storm midfielder Preki, and forwards Zoran Karic of the Cleveland Crunch and Tatu of the Dallas Sidekicks.
"That's not bad company," said Fraser. "It's nice. And it's a surprise. To get this -- I don't think I've ever made any of these teams at all. Sometimes, it's on reputation. You don't know, but if this phone had a longer cord, I'd be running through the apartment."
Fraser, who joined the Blast from the Kansas City Comets last summer, was a key signing, though perhaps no one, aside from Blast coach Kenny Cooper, had any real idea of what the team was getting. Fraser had made the MSL All-Star team the year before as a coach's pick, and he had had a respectable season for a team on which he was surrounded by veteran all-star defenders.
With the Blast, he became the dominant defender and made thAll-Star team by a vote of his peers. Besides controlling the opponent's top scorers and making 80 blocks, he had his best offensive season, with 14 goals and 15 assists in 40 games.
"Coming to a younger team, all of a sudden I was the guy with experience," said Fraser, 28, a six-year veteran. "I was looked to to do the job here. Before, in Kansas City, there was Kim Roentved and Gino Schiraldi, whom everyone looked to to do a great job. Here, there was a lot of pressure on me to do the great job, and I enjoyed it.
"It was the most enjoyable and most emotional season I've ever been through. And, now, to be on the first team with Kevin, who is my favorite player in the MSL, is terrific. He's class in everything he does."
Crow, who at 31 was talked out of retirement before the season, is known as the MSL's consummate defender. He made 82 blocks and contributed 21 points on offense while providing the team with stable leadership.
"Guys like Kevin Crow have gotten better every year," said Fraser. "I'm excited about being on this team with him, but I can't wait until next year. I think there's a lot more in me that I can give."
P Player, team.. .. .. Gm.. Shots.. ..Sv.. .. GAA
G Victor Nogueira, S.D.39.. . 905.. .411.. ..4.60
.. .. .. .. .. .. . Gm.. .. G.. .. A.. .. .Blk
D Kevin Crow, S.D. .. .40.. .. 9.. ..12.. .. . 82
D lain Fraser, Blast.. 40.. ..14.. . 15.. .. . 80
M Preki, St. Louis.. ..39.. . 45.. . 52.. .. . 11
F Zoran Karic, Cleveland 37.. .39.. .62.. .. .. 3
F Tatu, Dallas.. .. .. . 39.. .47.. .41.. .. . 26
G: Joe Papaleo, Dallas; D: George Fernandez, Cleveland; D: Ben Collins, San Diego; MF: Chico Borja, Wichita; F: David Doyle, Dallas; F: Dale Ervine, Wichita
G: Cris Vaccaro, Blast; D: Wes McLeod, Dallas; D: Danny Pena, Wichita; MF: Branko Segota, St. Louis; F: Hector Marinaro, Cleveland; F: Paul Wright, San Diego