Baltimore Blast Game Preview vs. Orlando & Mississauga
Baltimore Blast vs. Orlando Seawolves
Friday, March 22nd @ SECU Arena 7:30 p.m. EST
Baltimore Blast vs. Mississauga Metrostars
Sunday, March 24th @ SECU Arena 3:00 p.m. EST
You can watch both games on MASLTV at: https://www.maslsoccer.com/masltv
Baltimore Blast: 13-6
Tied for first place in the Eastern Division
Orlando Seawolves: 8-10
Fourth place in the South Central Division
Season Series: Baltimore leads 1-0
Mississauga Metrostars: 4-15
Fourth place in the Eastern Division
Season Series: Baltimore leads 5-0
Baltimore Players to Watch:
The Blast have clinched a playoff spot with last Sunday's 8-2 victory versus the Harrisburg Heat and look to take first place from division rivals Utica City FC. The Blast have bounced back from a rough patch midseason by winning their past four games.
Blast midfielder Jonatas Melo leads the team in assists (16) and points (33) on the season, and has tallied twelve points in his last four games. Vini Dantas missed last week's game versus Harrisburg, but still leads the team in goals (20) and ranks second in points (28). Forward Andrew Hoxie caught fire last weekend as he recorded a first half hat-trick versus the Heat, his first hat-trick of the season. Midfielder Tony Donatelli ranks third on the team in points with twenty, tallying ten goals and ten assists on the season. This marks the fifth consecutive season where Donatelli has posted at least ten goals and ten assists.
Defender Adriano Dos Santos is coming off a Team of the Week performance, where he scored three goals and an assist en route to a playoff clinching victory. William Vanzela continues to be one of the best goalkeepers in the MASL with a 4.42 goals against average and a .732 save percentage, which both rank fourth in the MASL. The Blast have one of the best defensive units in the MASL, ranking fourth in goals allowed average with 4.74 per game. At home this season, the Blast are 8-2, only falling to Utica City FC and the Milwaukee Wave. The Blast will be without Lucas Roque and Daniel Peruzzi as they recover from their knee injuries. The Blast are coached by Head Coach Danny Kelly and Assistant Coach David Bascome.
The Competition- Orlando SeaWolves
Midfielder Gordy Gurson leads the SeaWolves in goals (29), assists (17), and points (46) so far this season. Gurson is also tied for sixth in the MASL in points per game with 2.6. Forward Osvaldo Rojas ranks second on the team in points (25) with eighteen goals and seven assists this season. Midfielder Thiago Freitas rounds out the top three scorers for the SeaWolves, with 12 goals plus 9 assists in the season. Defender Richard Schmermund leads the SeaWolves in blocked shots this season with twenty-four, tied for ninth in the MASL. Several other players including midfielder Eduardo Cruz and defender Edwin Rojas have posted double-digit blocks as well. Goalkeeper Rainer Hauss has the third best save percentage in the MASL, saving shots 73.4% of the shots he faces.
The SeaWolves have one of the better power play offense in the league, converting 47.2% of their power play chances. Forward Elmo Neto is instrumental in this power play offense, scoring a team-leading four goals from the power play this season. Defender Joshio Sandoval will miss Friday night's game as he serves a suspension. The SeaWolves are coming off a weekend where they beat their Sunshine State rivals in Florida, but lost to the Kansas City Comets. The SeaWolves now sit one game back from the second playoff spot in the South Central Division. The Orlando SeaWolves are coached by Head Coach Tom Traxler.
The Competition- Mississauga Metrostars
The Metrostars come into this game with a statement win over Eastern Division leaders Utica City FC. Forward Molham Babouli leads the Metrostars in goals (19) and points (31), quickly becoming one of the better attackers in the Eastern Division. Forward Matthew Rios is tied for the team lead in assists (12) with Babouli. MLS legend Dwayne De Rosario has proven that age will not slow him down with a 1.6 points per game average, which is second on the team. Damion Graham has twenty-five points off of fourteen goals and eleven assists this season, ranking second on the team in those categories.
Marco Rodriguez will return from his two-game suspension, as he will try to match his last game at SECU Arena with five points. Despite Mississauga's record, they are the only team to post a shutout in the MASL this season, with goalkeeper Adrian Becic leading the way. Midfielder Joshua Paredes leads the team in blocks and ranks third in the division with twenty so far. The Metrostars may be out of the playoffs, but have proven that they can hang with any team in the MASL. The Metrostars defeated the division leading Utica City FC by a score of 9-3. The Metrostars are coached by Head Coach Rick Titus and Assistant Coach John Williams.
March 24th 3:00 p.m. EST Baltimore Blast vs. Mississauga Metrostars
March 30th 7:05 p.m. EST Baltimore Blast @ Harrisburg Heat
March 31st 2:00 p.m. EST Baltimore Blast @ Utica City FC
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