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Blast return home to face Heat and Pat and Kevin Healey

Blast return home to face Heat and Pat and Kevin Healey
Blast players #23 Jonatas Melo; #25 Daniel Peruzzi and MetroStars player #18 Molham Babouli vie for the ball when the Blast opened their season against expansion Mississauga MetroStars at Towson University's SECU Arena. Blast won 11-3. (Baltimore Sun)

Harrisburg Heat (1-4) @ Blast (4-2)

When: Saturday, 6:05 p.m.

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Where: SECU Arena

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

Outlook: Anytime the Blast take on the Heat, their closest Major Arena Soccer League rival, it’s a special occasion. But Saturday’s game — the first meeting between the teams this season — is that much more special with the return of former Blast standout player Pat Healey and his father, Kevin, the team’s former general manager. This summer, Pat Healey retired as a player after 10 years with the Blast to become Harrisburg’s head coach, and Kevin ended a 20-year run in the Blast organization to join the Heat’s front office. The teams will try to make headway in the league’s Eastern Division. The three-time defending league champion Blast, who last played at home Dec. 8, are in second place behind 5-2 Utica City, while the Heat, losers of three straight, are in the division’s basement. On Jan. 3, the Blast claimed a 6-5 overtime win against Mississauga MetroStars with a game-winning goal from Sam Guernsey to complete a 2-1 road trip. Jonatas Melo leads the Blast with 11 points (four goals and seven assists), while goalkeeper William Vanzela is 4-2 with a 4.14 goals-against average and 68 saves.

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