Baltimore Blast President and General Manager Kevin Healey announced that the team has signed goalkeepers Troy Hernandez and William Vanzela, as well as forwards Lucas Roque and Jamie Darvill and midfielder Marco Mangione, pending league approval. Hernandez and Vanzela will fill the hole left when veteran keeper Sagu relocated to Dallas and backup Akira Fitzgerald chose to pursue his options outdoor. The Blast will kick off the 2012-13 MISL season Saturday night against the Chicago Soul at 1st Mariner Arena.
Hernandez spent the 2012 USL PRO season with the Wilmington Hammerheads who advanced to the Championship. The 25-year-old goalkeeper saw his first game action in the Hammerheads’ 3-2 Quarterfinal win over Richmond on August 25 when the starting goalkeeper left the game with an injury. He went on to earn a 4-3 win over Orlando City in the Semifinals to advance Wilmington into the USL PRO Championship. He also previously played for Pocono Snow and FC Sonic of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). At East Stroudsburg University, Hernandez posted a career goals against average of .870 and was named NSCAA Third-Team All-Atlantic Region after his senior season.
Vanzela, who holds dual Brazilian and Italian citizenship, was a member of Italy’s World Cup-winning National Futsal team in 2011. He was named Best Goalkeeper in the 2011 Futsal World Cup. Most recently he played for Athletico Arzignano in Italy.
Roque moved to the United States from Brazil in 2001 and led his Monarch High School team to a district title and a berth in the Class 3A regional semifinals with 24 goals and 15 assists en route to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Class 4A-3A-2A Player of the Year title.
Mangione, the son of former Blast player Nick Mangione, was named First-Team All-CAA after his senior season at Towson University. In 2009 he as the fourth-leading scorer in the CAA with 20 points and was named to the NSCAA/adidas University Scholar All-East Region Team and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District 2 Second-Team notice. Mangione played high school soccer at Calvert Hall.
Darvill, an English player who played collegiately at Loyola, was named to the MAAC All-Rookie squad after his first year, was the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009 as well as an All-MAAC First-Team selection both years. In 2008 he was named Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Year Third Team and NSCAA/adidas All-North Atlantic Region First Team. In 73 games for the Greyhounds, he recorded 36 goals and 27 assists, while leading the team to three straight NCAA College Cup appearances. He spent the 2010 outdoor season with the Real Maryland Monarchs (USL Second Division) and most recently played for Ebbsfleet United in England.
“I am very pleased with the recent signings of Troy, William, Lucas, Marco and Jamie,” said Blast head coach Danny Kelly. “Troy and William are both quality goalkeepers who have come a long way in a very short time in terms of adapting to the indoor game. I am confident both will be up to the challenge that stands in front of them. Lucas Roque, Marco Mangione and Jamie Darville each have attacking skill sets that will help us win games this year. It's not a question of if they are able to adapt to the indoor game, it's a question of when. Hopefully their learning curve is a short one.”
Season tickets, five-game mini plans and single game tickets are on sale now through the Blast office. Single-game tickets are also available at the 1st Mariner Arena Box Office and at all TicketMaster outlets including TicketMaster phone charge at 410-547-SEAT. Tickets cost $30, $22, $19 and $16 and can also be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. For additional information, call the Blast at 410-73-BLAST.