Baltimore Blast President and General Manager Kevin Healey announced today that the team has come to terms with nine players from the 2008 championship team. The team will announce additional returning players as well as new additions soon. The Blast will open the 2008-09 National Indoor Soccer League on November 15th at 1st Mariner Arena.
The returning players include Denison Cabral, Sagu, P.J. Wakefield, Giuliano Celenza, Billy Nelson, Mike Lookingland, Robbie Aristodemo, Dave Kern and Ryan Pierce. Sagu, the 2008 Goalkeeper of the Year, will suit up for his fifth season in Baltimore while Cabral, Baltimore’s all-time leading scorer, looks to be among the League’s top scorers again this season.
Wakefield, Celenza, Nelson and Lookingland all hail from the Baltimore area and are returning for another season in front of their hometown fans. Wakefield, a 2008 Second-Team All-League selection, is entering his seventh season with the Blast. Celenza and Nelson, who were teammates with Wakefield at UMBC, are entering their ninth and eighth Blast seasons respectively. Lookingland, who played college soccer at Bucknell University, is entering his fourth season with the Blast.
Aristodemo, who ranked fourth on the Blast in points last season, returns for his fourth season in Baltimore and Kern and Pierce, rookies last season, will also return to Baltimore for the their second campaign. Kern went 5-1 in goal last season and Pierce recorded one goal and one assist in his first season with the Blast.