If you’re a rookie on the most successful indoor soccer team of the last decade, there are a few ways to make an impact on the field and to make the fans take notice - one way is to score five goals in one game. On February 14, 2009 Adrian Bumbut did exactly that against the Massachusetts Twisters, leading the Blast to a 37-5 victory and tying a team record for the most points and goals scored in a single game.
Bumbut grew up in Romania, the son of a former soccer coach. “At age four my dad gave me a soccer ball and that’s when my passion for soccer began,” he said. Bumbut grew up playing outdoor soccer, allowing him the opportunity to play for Liberty University and the Richmond Kickers before joining the Blast prior to the 2008-09 season. “The game of outdoor soccer is quite different than playing indoor soccer and during the transition from outdoor to indoor, I had to learn the rules and adjust to playing the ball off the boards, the major difference between the two games,” he said.
To break into the Blast lineup, Bumbut had to prove himself to Blast head coach Danny Kelly during a hard month-long tryout process. “Every day during tryouts I made sure to play my best and that the Blast saw and understood what kind of player I am,” he said. “It was tough and took lots of hard work,” but after the trials, Bumbut was one of two rookies to join the 2008-09 Blast squad.
A season and a half later, Bumbut is more comfortable with the indoor game and has seven goals and two assists for 17 career points. “I improved on keeping possession of the ball longer, playing a new role as target and working harder at my game overall,” he said. The 2009-10 season brings Bumbut and his Blast teammates new obstacles and experiences, including a Milwaukee Wave team the Blast didn’t play against last season. “I enjoy playing against the Wave most because of their competitiveness and the rivalry between the two teams,” he said. There are, however, certain things from his rookie season that Bumbut won’t miss, namely the harmless pranks that come along with being a first-year pro in any sport. “I haven’t been doused with a bucket of ice while in the shower this year,” he said.
Bumbut learned early on that playing in Baltimore means more than just stepping onto the field every day. “The best part of playing for the Blast is the fans and their devotion to the team,” he said. “The Blast has the greatest fans in the league and without them playing just wouldn’t be the same.”
When he’s not training, traveling or playing, Bumbut takes time to relax from his professional career but soccer is never far from his mind. “I like to go to downtown Baltimore and enjoy the vast variety of restaurants or watch my favorite soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo play (for Real Madrid),” he said. Bumbut loves the game of soccer and relishes “being able to compete and to be able to fuel the competition and help your team succeed by scoring.”
His 14 points last seasons earned him a spot, along with teammate Pat Healey on the 2009 All-League Rookie Team. “The highlight of my first year was winning the 2009 championship,” Bumbut said. “I hope to win another one this season.”