Edwin F. Hale Sr., the Baltimore developer and former CEO of First Mariner Bancorp, scored a victory Wednesday when a Baltimore County judge ruled that the operators of Royal Farms Arena are improperly using billboards that belong to him.
The visiting Baltimore Blast scored five goals in the first quarter and used a strong defensive effort to beat the Syracuse Silver Knights, 12-4, on Friday night and remain undefeated in the Major Arena Soccer League.
Seemingly in control going into the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead, the Blast had to hold off a valiant Wave comeback bid. Onua Obasi's goal with 2:39 to play secured a suddenly-thrilling 13-8 win in front of an announced crowd of 6,421 at Royal Farms Arena.
Forward Diego Zuniga scored three goals, and newcomers Jonatas Melo (two goals, two assists for six points) and Onua Obasi (one goal, three assists for five points) also played big in a dominating 27-0 win in front of an announced crowd of 4,911.
The Blast had a convincing 16-7 season-opening win over the Syracuse Silver Knights on Saturday and will try to build on the effort against the Waza Flo, which previously competed in the Professional Arena Soccer League.
In Saturday's season opener against the visiting Syracuse Silver Knights, the Blast gave up some shaky goals early and had goalie William Vanzela scrambling to make some big saves. But the offense kept pace and when the defense tightened, the Blast ran away with a 16-7 win over the Silver Knights before an announced crowd of 7,812 at Royal Farms Arena.
The inaugural Major Arena Soccer League season will include 23 teams competing in four divisions — Eastern, Central, Southern and Pacific. The Blast will play in the Eastern with the Detroit Waza Flo, Harrisburg Heat, Rochester Lancers and Syracuse Silver Knights.
A biography of former Baltimore banker Ed Hale is set to detail his rise from a Sparrows Point upbringing to exploits in real estate, sports business and banking – working covertly for the CIA and surviving plane crashes along the way.
The city's plan to award naming rights to the Baltimore Arena to the Royal Farms chain of convenience stores drew praise Tuesday as a pairing almost as good as Western fries and chicken, though some still questioned the need to place yet another corporate logo on a municipal building.
Hale announced the creation of the Major Arena Soccer League at a news conference at Canton Dockside restaurant, a 24-team operation that includes teams from the Major Indoor Soccer League and the Professional Arena Soccer League.
The Baltimore Blast, along with five other former Major Indoor Soccer League teams, have reached an agreement to partner with teams from the Professional Arena Soccer League to create a new league that is expected to consist of 20-plus teams throughout North America.
The Blast has been officially released from the United Soccer Leagues and its affiliate, the Major Indoor Soccer League, and the team is working on becoming part of a new, expanded league, Blast owner Ed Hale said Wednesday.
Former WBAL WMAR television and radio broadcaster Ted Patterson's entire life has been consumed by sports — and that goes for his Towson residence, too, which is overflowing with baseball, football and boxing memorabilia — some of which that dates back to the 19th century. Patterson will attend his 41st consecutive Orioles Opening Day March 31.
Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela, who sat out Friday night's first game of the Major Indoor Soccer League championship series at Missouri due to a nagging elbow injury, will return to the net when the series continues in Baltimore on Sunday.
Forced to play a deciding, 15-minute mini game after the Silver Knights claimed the second game earlier of the semifinal series earlier in the evening, the Blast scored and defended just enough to come away with a thrilling, 4-3 win and earn the right to defend its crown.
To the rescue came William Vanzela, a native of Brazil who was in Italy establishing himself as one of the top goalkeepers in futsal, another indoor game played on a smaller field without the turf and side boards.
The Blast has had many offensive stars come and go over the course of winning six professional indoor soccer championships since 2003, but one thing that never leaves is the team's strong commitment to defense.
Rochester discovered why the Blast came into the matchup as the Major Indoor Soccer League's top defense. Goalie William Vanzela made 12 saves and the defense smothered the Lancers offense as the Blast scored a 17-2 victory before 6,986 at Baltimore Arena.
The Blast had the same three-point lead going into the fourth quarter of in Friday's game against Syracuse that as it did on the road Sunday against the same Silver Knights, who ended up coming from behind to win. It wasn't going to happen a second time.
The Blast opened up an early lead, locked down the Ambush's attack and cruised to a 14-2 victory before an announced 6,432 at Baltimore Arena, extending their winning streak to a league-best seven games.