Game Preview: Orlando

KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA (January 30th, 2020) – Last weekend, the Blast split their games versus San Diego and Harrisburg. The game versus the Sockers was reminiscent of the old battles in the 1980’s; a raucous atmosphere, tons of goals, and a few cards to add to the drama. Baltimore was able to capitalize on the Sockers’ mistakes by converting 3-3 on the power play. Forward Vini Dantas had a hat trick, his first of two for the weekend. Dantas showcased his power, dribbling and his powerful right foot on his way to 7 points in two games. Dantas is now fifth in the MASL in goals (20) and tied for third in overall points (27). Forward Victor France scored his first two goals for the Blast in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.

Jamie Thomas and Adriano Dos Santos made a few stellar defensive plays to prevent San Diego from catching the Blast. Goalkeeper William Vanzela was the first star of the night. Vanzela made save after save to keep the Blast in front, saving 22 of 27 shots. The highlight of the game came when San Diego was threatening with six attackers late in the fourth quarter. Vanzela made a great stop, prevented a juicy rebound, then alertly got up and threw the ball across the field in to San Diego’s open net. It was Vanzela’s first ever goal for the Blast in nine seasons.

After the win over the Sockers, the Blast traveled north to play the Harrisburg Heat. This was an important game for both sides in terms of the playoff race. Harrisburg was just one game ahead of the Blast in the Eastern Conference standings. After a scoreless first quarter, the Heat jumped out to a three goal lead early in the second quarter. Vini Dantas scored twice and Victor France scored for the third time in two games. Harrisburg broke the tie by scoring the next three goals, and continually stifled the Blast attack. Dantas added a third goal late in the game to complete his second hat trick in two days, but it was not enough. The Blast conceded a late goal and lost the game, 7-4.

Baltimore will now be playing catch up, as they are now two games behind Harrisburg for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. They will look to take care of business in their next game against division rivals Orlando (1-9, eighth place in the Eastern Conference). The Blast and the SeaWolves have split their season series so far, with each team winning a game at home. The Blast attack dominated the first meeting, 14-5, thanks Dantas’ 5 goals and Tony Donantelli’s 2 goals and 2 assists. Orlando won the rematch at home, 5-4, for their only win of the season so far. Defender Luiz Mota and forward Omar Tapia each scored twice to give Orlando a last-minute victory.

After facing Orlando, the Blast have a quick turnaround as they travel to Rochester to face the Lancers on Friday, January 31st at 7:00 PM ET. The Blast are coached by Head Coach Danny Kelly and Assistant Coach David Bascome. The SeaWolves will play their next game at home on Thursday, February 6th against the San Diego Sockers at 7:35 PM ET. They will follow that up with another matchup against the Blast on Sunday, February 9th at 5:05 PM ET. The SeaWolves are coached by Head Coach Tom Traxler and Assistant Coaches Maycon Franca and Sammy Rivera.

The game will take place at Silver Spurs Arena on Thursday, January 30th at 7:35 PM ET. You can watch the game live on MASLTV:

The Major Arena Soccer League represents the highest level of professional arena soccer in the world. The MASL features teams across North America, with teams playing coast-to-coast in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The MASL is currently incorporated as a 501(c)6 not for profit corporation formed to promote the business and sport of arena soccer.