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Blast take on Wave in home opener

Milwaukee Wave (0-1) vs. Blast (1-0)

When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.

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Video: golivesportscast.com

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

Outlook: It took the Blast less than a half in Saturday's season opener at Harrisburg to pick up where they left off as defending Major Arena Soccer League champions. They scored three times in the final three minutes of the first half and then the first four goals in the third quarter to go on to a comfortable 11-6 win over the Heat. The big news was the return of forward Vini Dantas, who was sidelined for the end of last season after toe surgery. The three-year veteran set the tone with the game's first goal Saturday and finished with four goals and an assist. Tony Donatelli (one goal, five assists), Geaton Caltabiano (two goals, one assist) and Andrew Hoxie (two goals) also contributed to the balanced effort. The Blast defense also settled in to allow just three Heat goals before the home team tacked on three in the final minutes after the outcome was safely decided. Milwaukee has been a perennial power in indoor soccer and is a longtime rival of the Blast. Last season, however, the Wave slipped considerably with a 13-7 record, which was good for third place in the MASL's Central Division. In the Wave's season opener last Friday at Kansas City, they quickly fell behind the Comets — 3-0 and then 5-1 at the half — and never recovered in an 11-4 loss. Forward Ian Bennett and midfielder Marcio Leite lead the Wave attack, and former Blast defender Drew Ruggles is a key cog on defense in front of goalie Rafael Dias. Former Blast midfielder Max Ferdinand also will be returning to Baltimore, in his second season with the Wave.

—Glenn Graham

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