Season opener preview: Blast vs. Riot

When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.

Where: 1st Mariner Arena

Online: B2TV.com

Outlook: The Blast opens its 2010-11 Major Indoor Soccer League season with a home game against the expansion Riot, which mostly consists of players from the now-defunct Rockford Rampage. After a disappointing upset loss to eventual champion Monterrey in last season's semifinals, the Blast looks primed to make a run at its sixth league title in nine years. The team returns 13 players from last year's team, led by goalkeeper Sagu, forwards Machel Millwood and Giuliano Celenza, and midfielder/captain Robbie Aristodemo. Former Philadelphia KiXX standout Pat Morris solidifies the defense, and the offense gets a boost with the additions of target forwards Adauto Neto, Worteh Sampson and Warren Ukan. Neto, a former league Most Valuable Player who was a member of two Blast championship teams, is expected to miss at least three weeks after knee surgery. The Riot is led by Semir Mesanovic, who finished with 45 points while splitting time with the Rampage and Philadelphia KiXX last year, and midfielders Novica Marojevic and Fred Degand, the team captain. Jeff Richey handles the goalkeeping duty.

 

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