Before Baltimoreans started declaring their allegiances to the Washington Capitals, there were the Baltimore Skipjacks, a scrappy AHL team that gave rise to the likes of Barry Trotz, Claude Julien and Bruce Bourdreau.
After coming away with a 7-4 win over expansion Soles de Sonora in Sunday's first game of the Major Arena Soccer League championship, the best-of-three series concludes in Hermosillo, Mexico. The second game is set for 11:05 p.m. Friday and if Sonora wins, a 15-minute mini game will immediately follow to determine the league champion. Blast fans can go to golivesportscast.com to view all the action.
For the second straight game, the Blast rallied from a late two-goal deficit against the Missouri Comets to claim a 4-3 win in overtime and capture the Major Arena Soccer League's Eastern Conference championship.
On Tuesday, the anticipated Eastern Conference championship series moves to Baltimore with the Blast owning a 1-0 series lead following a come-from-behind, 4-3 overtime win in Missouri on Thursday. If the Comets take Game 2, a 15-minute mini game would immediately follow to determined which team advances to the league championships series.
The Blast will open the Major Arena Soccer League's Eastern Conference championship series at Missouri on Thursday to take on the Comets in a rematch of last year's conference final. Game time is set for 8:05 p.m. at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
The Baltimore Blast plans to be on the move. Again. Disappointed by the Major Arena Soccer League's single-entity business plan as well as the lack of stability with many of its franchises, Blast owner Ed Hale Sr. plans to leave the 20-team league at the conclusion of the season and has begun work on the creation of a new league, the Indoor Professional League.
While the March 22 ending to the Major Arena Soccer League championship series was a heartbreaker for the Blast — the Monterrey Flash closed the series with a sudden-death goal in Mexico — there was plenty left for the team to build upon.
While the Blast prepares for the Major Arena Soccer League championship series this weekend against the Monterrey Flash, the team took time Thursday afternoon to recognize some of its own as the league's finest.
Tony Donatelli scored a go-ahead goal with 8:06 to play in the third quarter and the Blast's trademark defense handled the rest, blanking the Lancers in the entire second half to pull out a gutsy 6-4 win for the Eastern Division title in front of an announced crowd of 5,544 at Royal Farms Arena.
Every season, the Blast expects to challenge for the championship and this one is no different. Competing in the new 23-team Major Arena Soccer League, the Blast steamrolled the Eastern Division and comes into the postseason with an 18-2 record that has it in position to claim the franchise's eighth championship.
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.
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.
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.
For a second straight year, Blast veteran defender Patrick Healey has been named to the U.S. Futsal men's national team, which will be competing in the Four Nations Tournament in Newcastle, England, in June.
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.
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.