Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela, who sat out Friday night's first game of the Major Indoor Soccer League championship series at Missouri due to a nagging elbow injury, will return to the net when the series continues in Baltimore on Sunday.
The defending league champion Blast lost, 15-8, to the Comets and will have to win the second game — set for 5:05 p.m. at Baltimore Arena — to force a deciding, 15-minute mini game in a bid to reclaim its league title.
Vanzela, who was named the MISL Goalkeeper of the Year last week, has a 5.57 points-against average and .833 save percentage — both league bests by a wide margin.
He suffered the injury in the first semifinal game against Syracuse this month, but played the remainder of the series. The Blast lost the second game, but advanced to the final with a 4-3 win in the deciding mini game.
"While he played a good second game, there was some feeling that a couple of the goals were due to his problem with his elbow," Blast general manager Kevin Healey said. "So, we just thought it would be best to have a healthy William on Sunday, and we think the extra couple days of rest will have him ready to go."
Backup goalie Troy Hernandez made 15 saves in Friday's loss, but it will be up to Vanzela on Sunday.
"William is an important part of what we do," Healey said. "He's an emotional leader for us, and we looking forward to have him back on the field."