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Blast try to stay unbeaten as they renew rivalry with Sockers

Vini Dantas screams during the Baltimore Blast's 6-4 win over the Missouri Comets in the Eastern Conference finals on March 13, 2015.
Vini Dantas screams during the Baltimore Blast's 6-4 win over the Missouri Comets in the Eastern Conference finals on March 13, 2015. (David Rippeto / Handout)

San Diego Sockers (2-2) at Blast (4-0)

When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.

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Video: golivesportscast.com

Tickets: 410-73-BLAST, ticketmaster.com or baltimoreblast.com

Outlook: Professional indoor soccer's longest-standing rivalry and one of its all-time best returns to Baltimore with the Sockers in town for a cross-country Major Arena Soccer League showdown. Back in the original Major Indoor Soccer League, the teams met in four championship series during the 1980s with the Sockers claiming each title. Longtime fans will think back to Blast greats Stan Stamenkovic and Mike Stankovic with Steve Zungul and Branko Segota as the talented villains wearing Sockers uniforms. The teams' last meeting in Baltimore came in 2004 when both were competing in the second version of the MISL. They reunited last season in San Diego when the Sockers came away with a 7-2 win playing in the multipoint scoring system no longer used in the league. This season, the Blast is off to a 4-0 start atop the Eastern Division following a 9-2 win at Harrisburg on Saturday. Vini Dantas leads the Blast with nine points (seven goals, two assists) with newcomer Andrew Hoxie proving to be a difference-making addition with seven goals. Blast goalie William Vanzela leads the league with a 1.75 goals-against average. The Blast defense will have to keep a close eye on Sockers forward Kraig Chiles, who has four goals and four assists for a team-high eight points.

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