The Baltimore Blast opened the 2010-11 season Friday night with a 10-6 win over the Chicago Riot at 1st Mariner Arena. in front of 8,116 fans, forward Machel Millwood led the way with two goals.
The Riot got on the scoreboard first, with a goal from Edward Santeliz, to take a 2-0 lead in the second minute but Millwood tied the game at 2-2 at the 5:54 mark of the first quarter.
The Riot took the lead again, 4-2, when Santeliz scored his second goal of the night at 5:33 of the second quarter. Giuliano Celenza tied the game at 4-4 on a restart goal (assist from Pat Healey) with less than a minute remaining in the first half. WIth the goal, Celenza recorded the 400th point of his career.
Newcomer Worteh Sampson and 2010 MISL Rookie of the Year scored Max Ferdinand scored goals just 18 seconds apart midway through the third quarter to give the Blast its first lead of the game, 6-4 then 8-4.
Millwood scored his second goal of the night to increase Baltimore's lead to 10-4 with less than eight minutes left in the game. With the seconds ticking off the clock, Semir Mesanovic ended the game with a goal to make the final score 10-6.
- Adauto Neto underwent knee surgery on Monday and will miss three to four weeks.
- Millwood is just eight two-point goals shy of the 100th two-point goal of his career.
- With the win the Blast improve to 15-4 all-time in home openers (since the 1992-93 season).
The Blast's returning players are forwards Adrian Bumbut, Celenza, Ferdinand, Lucio Gonzaga and Millwood, midfielders Robbie Aristodemo, Scott Buete and Healey, defenders Carlos Garcia , Mike Lookingland, Billy Nelson and Zach Wilkes and goalkeeper Sagu.
Neto, the 2006 MISL MVP, and Matt Watson, who played for the Blast from 2006 to 2009, return to their original MISL teams this season. Neto, a member of two Blast Championship teams, was a First-Team All-MISL selection last season for the Philadelphia KiXX. He lead the MISL with 65 points (one three-point goal, 17 two-point goals and 28 assists), recorded at least one point in 19 straight games and was a two-time Offensive Player of the Month last season. He recorded 107 points for the Blast from 2005 to 2008. Watson, who advanced to the USSL D2 championship with the Carolina RailHawks (USSF D2) this summer, won championships with the Blast in 2008 and 2009 and took off the 2009-10 MISL season to recover from ankle surgery. Watson has recorded 25 goals for 58 points in 55 games with the Blast.
Forwards Warren Ukah and Sampson are among the newcomers, as well as defenders Pat Morris and Rich Costanzo and goalkeeper Nick Hovaker. Ukah played for the Milwaukee Wave during the 2007-08 season and was named to the All-Rookie team after recording 14 goals and 11 assists (39 points) in his indoor soccer debut. He has also played for several USL teams and in the Jamaican National Premier League. Costanzo, 24, recorded two goals and one assist for the USSF D2 Rochester Rhinos this summer. He began his collegiate career at Penn State before transferring to the University of Maryland and winning the NCAA Championship with the Terps in 2008.
Morris, who played the last 11 seasons with the Philadelphia KiXX. Morris was named First-Team All-MISL last season after recording 47 points and tying to lead the MISL with 36 blocks. He has been an All-League selection every season since 2002, was the league Defender of the Year in 2005 and 2009, has played in four All-Star Games (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006) and won championships with the KiXX in 2002 and 2007.
The Riot, the newest MISL team, is coached by Jeff Kraft and features 12 players from last season's Rockford Rampage roster. The Riot's first signed player, midfielder Novi Marojevic, will also serve as Kraft's assistant coach. Degand is the Riot's team captain, and Jeff Richey will be in goal. Mesanovic and Bato Radoncic will lead the Riot's offense.
Tickets to all Blast home games are available at TicketMaster.com, at the 1st Mariner Arena Box Office and by calling 410-73-BLAST.
All Blast home games will be webcast LIVE on the Internet via America One.