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Blast face Fury, Ambush at SECU Arena this weekend

Ontario Fury (2-2) vs. Blast (2-1)

When: Friday, 7:35 p.m.

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St. Louis Ambush (0-4) vs. Blast (2-1)

When: Saturday, 6:05 p.m.

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Where: Towson University’s SECU Arena

The Blast (2-0) posted a 7-6 victory against the Syracuse Silver Knights at Towson University's SECU Arena on Friday night. Adriano Dos Santos and Vini Dantas

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

Outlook: Rarely have the two-time defending Major Arena Soccer League champion Blast not been in first place in the league’s Eastern Division in recent years, but they enter Friday’s game sitting in second after a 5-4 loss at the first-place Florida Tropics (3-1) on Nov. 18. It was the third straight one-goal game the Blast have played and their first on the losing side after they rallied to tie with three straight second-half goals before surrendering the winner with 19 seconds to play. They have a good chance to bounce back this weekend if they can keep some struggling teams down on the mat. After a 2-0 start, the Fury have dropped their past two games, including an 8-0 setback against the San Diego Sockers on Nov. 19. Going into the game, Ontario had been scoring plenty of goals with Leonardo De Oliveira (four goals, seven assists) one of four players with four goals this season. The Ambush have struggled to close out games from the start of the season, but have stayed competitive with three of their losses by two goals or fewer. For the Blast, forward Vini Dantas (team-high five goals, three assists) has picked up where he left off as last year’s championship series MVP with goalkeeper William Vanzela stopping 50 shots with a 6.06 goals-against average. This week, the Blast signed midfielder Nicholas Tait (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) and forward Jon Orlando (University of D.C.) to contracts.

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