Utica City FC (9-4) vs. Blast (7-4)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Harrisburg Heat (3-7) vs. Blast
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: SECU Arena
Tickets: 410-73-BLAST, ticketmaster.com or baltimoreblast.com
Outlook: Approaching the regular season’s midway point, the three-time defending Major Arena Soccer League champion Blast find themselves in a rare spot sitting in second place in the league’s Eastern Division. It makes for an important home weekend starting with first-place Utica City on Friday as the Blast look to end a two-game slide. The good news is the Blast are 5-0 at home this season and have never lost a game at SECU Arena in their two seasons playing there. Utica City has taken two out of three games this season with each team successful in protecting their respective home turf. Veteran Slavisa Ubiparipovic is having a banner season for the visitors with 16 goals and 13 assists. On Friday, the first 1,000 fans 14 years and under will receive a free Blast mini soccer ball. On Sunday afternoon, the rival Heat come in to try to build on their 8-6 home win over the Blast on Jan. 26. Ex-Blast Nelson Santana scored three goals to lead the Heat. Vini Dantas (10 goals, three assists) and Tony Donatelli (five goals, seven assists) lead the Blast on offense with goalie William Vanzela posting a 6-4 mark with a 4.52 goals against average and 108 saves. Sunday is Girls Scout Day/First Responders and Salute to Service with the Blast.