The Blast yesterday acquired former Baltimore Spirit star Franklin McIntosh from the St. Louis Ambush for cash and a 1999 second-round draft choice.
McIntosh, a prolific scoring forward, played for the Spirit for two seasons (1994-95 and '95-96) before spending the 1996-97 season with Cincinnati and 1997-98 with Cincinnati and St. Louis.
While with the Spirit, McIntosh became the first player in the league to score 1,000 points. In the NPSL, he is third in points scored (1,318), fifth in three-point goals (46), sixth in two-point goals (296), sixth in one-point goals (85), sixth in overall goals (427) and second in assists (503).
"Franklin is an offensive star in this league," said Blast coach/general manager Kevin Healey.
"The addition of McIntosh along with our earlier acquisition this week of goalkeeper Brett Phillips reinforces the Blast's commitment to winning an NPSL championship."
Only one team in the NPSL is allowing more points per game than the Blast -- Buffalo. At the same time, only one team in the NPSL is scoring more points per game than the Blast -- Cleveland, tonight's opponent at Baltimore Arena (7: 35).
It wasn't supposed to be this way for the locals in either respect.
"Of the two, offense and defense, we figured we'd be stronger defensively at the start," said Healey. "But I never thought we'd have trouble scoring. Instead of one or two guys getting all the points, I figured the scoring would be spread around."
Bull's-eye, that's the way it's been through the first seven games, which sees the Blast record at just 2-5, despite outscoring the opposition, 104-102.
"The points are there," said the coach. "Now, we have to continue playing good team defense as we did in the Florida game (21-9), especially with Lance Johnson [broken leg] out."
No better place to start holding the opposition down than against the Crunch, which has led the league in scoring ever since Hector Marinaro and Zoran Karic graduated from high school.
For instance, in the first game between the teams in Cleveland last week, Marinaro and Karic took turns scoring and assisting one another, while the Crunch bolted to a 6-0 first-quarter lead. The Blast won the rest of the game, 13-10. Too late.
Besides radio (WJFK, 1300 AM), the Blast and Cleveland get TV treatment from Home Team Sports tonight.
Around the league
Yes, the defending league-champion Milwaukee Wave is still undefeated (7-0), but it took some doing to remain that way. Seemingly home free with a 14-6 lead late in the third quarter against St. Louis, the Ambush tied it and forced OT, but Todd Dusosky came to the rescue and the Wave had its 19th straight win at home.
After talking to the Blast, Goran Hunjak, a big-time scorer with the Baltimore Spirit a few years back, signed with Kansas City. Ken Snow's return to the league continues to be a big story, the St. Louis forward leading the league in points (46) and goals (24) after 10 games.
Award: With nine goals and 16 points in back-to-back games against Wichita, Detroit's Dennis Brose has been named the NPSL Player of the Week.
Opponent: Cleveland Crunch
Site: Baltimore Arena
TV/Radio: HTS/WJFK (1300 AM)
Outlook: The Crunch (4-4), after assuming a 6-0 first-period lead, squeezed by the Blast, 16-13, last week. It is starting a three-game weekend, two on the road, where it has had problems (1-3). The Blast is 2-2 at home and expects to have forward Brad Smith back after he missed two games with a sprained ankle. Blast captain Lance Johnson is out for two months with a broken leg.
Pub Date: 12/04/98