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Baltimore Blast vs. Utica City FC Game Preview

November 21, 2019 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) - Baltimore Blast News Release

Friday November 22nd @ SECU Arena 7:35 P.M. ET

You can watch the game live on MASLTV:

2018-19 Baltimore Blast: 17-7 (10-2 at Home; 7-5 away from home)

Second place in the Eastern Division; Lost in Eastern Conference Final

2018-19 Utica City FC: 17-7 (9-3 at Home; 8-4 away from home)

Eastern Division Regular Season Champions; Lost in Eastern Divisional Round playoffs

Season Series: 0-0

Baltimore Players to Watch:

The Blast prepare to kick off the 2019-20 regular season with a matchup against Utica City FC. The Blast are returning nearly all of last season's team that fell short in the Eastern Conference Final. Second Team All-MASL midfielder Jonatas Melo is coming off of his best regular season with Baltimore, recording a career high in points (41), goals (19), and assists (22). Vini Dantas will returns for his sixth season with the Blast after leading the team in goals with 23 last season. Veteran midfielder Tony Donatelli ranked third on the Blast last season in points scored with 29, with 15 goals and 14 assists. First team All MASL defender Adriano Dos Santos will miss the opening game, as he is currently on international duty with the United States beach soccer team.

The Blast look to return one of the league's best defenses through the contributions of several key players. Defenders Mike Deasel and Jereme Raley posted career-bests last season and led the team in blocked shots with eighteen in the regular season. Goalkeeper William Vanzela looks to continue his legendary goalkeeping career in his eighth season with the Blast. Vanzela posted career highs in minutes played and saves in a regular season last year.

The Blast added one major player this season, former SeaWolves forward Victor France. France had his season cut short by a multitude of injuries, but was on pace to record 38 points last season. The Blast are coached by Head Coach Danny Kelly and Assistant Coach David Bascome.

The Competition - Utica City FC

Utica City FC will be the first obstacle along the way. Utica City enters with a new look front line as forwards Slavisa Ubiparipovic and Joey Tavernese have both moved to San Diego and Florida respectively. Utica was able to sign Diego Zuniga, (Rio Grande Valley), Moises Gonzalez (Rio Grande Valley), & Christian Segura (San Diego). The three combined for 79 points last season and will look to pair up with Bo Jelovac, who recorded 32 points last season. Utica City also brought in defender James Togbah, who will pair with MASL Defender of the Year Darren Toby, to complete one of the best defenses in the MASL.

Utica City returns goalkeeper Andrew Coughlin, who recorded the sixth best goals against average in the MASL last year (4.74) and has brought in ex-Harrisburg heat goalie Matt Perrella. Utica City also returns defenders Ben Ramin, Logan Roberts, Jake Schindler, & midfielder Nate Bordeau to create one of the most balanced rosters in the MASL. Utica City will look to enact their revenge on the Blast after being knocked out of the divisional round by the Eastern Conference finalists. Utica City FC are coached by Head Coach Ryan Hall.

Upcoming Games:

Nov 24th 2:00 p.m. ET Baltimore Blast @ Utica City FC

Dec 7th 6:05 p.m. ET Baltimore Blast vs. Canada Metrostars

Dec 14th 6:05 p.m. ET Baltimore Blast vs. Utica City FC

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