Four-Time Champion Receives First Coaching Award
The National Indoor Soccer League (NISL) announced that Baltimore Blast head coach Danny Kelly has been voted the 2008-09 NISL Coach of the Year. Kelly, who played professional indoor soccer for 14 seasons, is completing his fourth season as the Blast head coach. The Blast will host the Rockford Rampage in the 2009 NISL Championship at 1st Mariner Saturday night.
Kelly, who played for the Blast from 1998 to 2006, took on the coaching duties for the last five games of the 2005-06 regular season and led the team to the 2006 Championship. He retired from the playing field during the 2006 offseason and guided the Blast to another Championship in 2008 and an appearance in this season’s Championship Game. The Blast went 14-4 this season en route to the regular season title and a bye into the Champion Game. Over the last four seasons that Kelly has served as the coach, the Blast has gone 50-33 in the regular season and 9-2 in the postseason.
Despite not seeing game action in three seasons, Kelly ranks eighth on Baltimore’s all-time scoring list, having posted 329 points (106 goals, 136 assists) in his career. He ranks third on the club’s all-time postseason scoring list with 42 points (17 goals, 14 assists) in 25 playoff games. During his career, he was a five-time All-Star selection and a Second-Team selection in 2005-06; this season marks his first coaching honor. Kelly spent seven seasons with the Harrisburg Heat before joining the Blast for the 1998-99 season.
To determine winners of the postseason awards, members of the media, NISL coaches and general managers were asked to cast votes for first-place (worth five points), second-place (three points) and third-place (one point) for NISL Coach of the Year.
Top Three Coaches Receiving Coach of the Year Votes:
Danny Kelly, Baltimore Blast - 46 points
Jeff Kraft, Rockford Rampage - 32 points
Erich Geyer, Monterrey La RaZa - 17 points
About the National Indoor Soccer League
The National Indoor Soccer League was launched in September of 2008 and consists of five founding members; the Baltimore Blast, La RaZa de Monterrey, Philadelphia KiXX, Rockford Rampage and the Massachusetts Twisters. The NISL has formed a working relationship with the United Soccer Leagues (USL) and has received provisional membership in the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
The NISL kicked off its inaugural season on November 15th and concluded on March 29th. The 2009 NISL Championship Series consisted of three of the five NISL clubs competing in two rounds, the Semifinal Round and the Championship Game (April 11). The Rockford Rampage defeated the Monterrey La RaZa in the Semifinals to advance to play the Baltimore Blast in the Championship Game. The Blast claimed the regular season title and earned an automatic bye to host the Championship Game at 1st Mariner Arena on Saturday, April 11.
2009 NISL Championship Game:
Saturday, April 11 at 1st Mariner Arena, 7:35 p.m. ET, Baltimore Blast vs. Rockford Rampage