The Blast had a lengthy training session Friday as they aim to end a rare two-game losing streak Sunday against the visiting St. Louis Ambush.
The practice featured the typical hard work and attention to detail, coach Danny Kelly's occasional barking and some joking around during breaks.
One thing that wasn't apparent: panic.
With an 8-5 mark, the defending Major Arena Soccer League champions already have more losses than in any of their past three 20-game regular seasons.
At this point during those seasons, the Blast had already clinched their division title or were close. This season, they are only 1 1/2 games in front of the Harrisburg Heat (6-6) in the Eastern Division.
"Last year, people were questioning us, too," Blast president and general manager Kevin Healey said. "We had lost three games to the Missouri Comets and they were saying we were not going to be able to do it and it won't be our year.
"Our thing is to continue to get better and be ready for [the playoffs in March]. We have a core on this team that know how to win soccer games. And then during the course of the year, they bring the younger players along with them and continue to train and develop them. When the tight games come, I'm confident that we have a unit here that has a very good chance to win another championship."
After going 15-4 last season (one regular-season game was canceled), the Blast swept two-game series against the Syracuse Silver Knights, Missouri and Soles de Sonora to win Baltimore's eighth professional indoor soccer title.
The Blast scored only five goals in two road losses this past weekend — 5-3 against Cedar Rapids and 7-2 against the Milwaukee Wave — but could go on a goal-scoring splurge against the struggling Ambush, who come into Sunday's 4:05 p.m. game at Royal Farms Arena with a 1-13 mark.