The Blast lost, 10-8, to the Rockford Rampage in overtime of the 2009-10 MISL season opener Friday night at 1st Mariner Arena. All-time leading scorer Denison Cabral led the team with two goals and newcomer Rod Dyachenko recorded two assists in his indoor soccer debut. Chris Brisson scored the game-winning goal 9:47 into the overtime period.
Cabral gave Baltimore an early 2-0 lead in the fourth minute of the game before Bato Radoncic tied the game a minute later.
Cabral scored his second goal of the match just 16 seconds into the second quarter to tie the game at 4-4.
After a scoreless third quarter, Rockford took a 6-4 lead on a Gary Brooks goal in the fourth minute of the final quarter. 2009 Rookie of the Year Pat Healey tied the game at 6-6 in the sixth minute, with Dyachenko adding his second assist of the night (his first assist was on Cabral's first goal). With less than four minutes remaining, former Blast player Ibrahim Kante reclaimed Rockford's lead, 8-6. Giuliano Celenza tied the game at 8-8 with less than 90 seconds remaining to force overtime.
The team took the field with a few new players and a solid group of veterans who know what it takes to win championships. Led by head coach Danny Kelly and assistant coach David Bascome, the Blast features veterans and long-time Blast players including Cabral, Robbie Aristodemo, Celenza, Carlos Garcia, Machel Millwood, Sagu, Billy Nelson and Mike Lookingland. Dave Kern, Ryan Pierce, Jonathan Greenfield are also back in Blast uniforms as are last year’s standout rookies Healey and Adrian Bumbut. Lucio Gonzaga, a member of Baltimore’s 2008 championship squad, is back in Baltimore after spending last season with the New Jersey Ironmen. The Blast has also added Dyachenko, Mike Dello-Russo, Logan Alexander, Max Ferdinand and Adriano Dos Santos to the roster. The most notable player missing from last year’s roster is former team captain PJ Wakefield who announced his retirement shortly before the start of the season.
Just prior to the start of the game, the Blast players watched as the 2009 championship banner was raised to the rafters in front of 9,614 fans. Wakefield joined the team on the field, carrying the championship trophy.
Aristodemo Named Team Captain
Robbie Aristodemo, who is entering his fifth Blast season, was named team captain last week. Aristodemo takes over the role after PJ Wakefield announced his retirement during the offseason. In four seasons in Baltimore, Aristodemo has been part of three championship squads and has recorded 138 points. Last season he led the Blast and tied to rank third in the NISL with 19 assists. He began his indoor soccer career in 2002-03 with the San Diego Sockers and spent one season in Cleveland before coming to Baltimore for the 2005-06 season.
The Blast will be back at 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday, November 21 to host the Philadelphia KiXX. The 21st is T-shirt night and the first 1,500 kids 14 and under will receive a free 30th anniversary T-shirt. Tickets are available by calling 410-547-SEAT or online at TicketMaster.com.
Every home Blast game during the 2009-10 season can be seen live on the Internet at B2TV.com