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MASL Championship Preview: Blast at Monterrey

March 23, 2018 - Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) - Baltimore Blast News Release

Sunday, March 25th at 5:05 p.m. Monterrey time / 7:05 p.m. Baltimore time at Arena Monterrey

Setting the Tone:

Baltimore Blast: 17-5

First place in the Eastern Division

First round: The Blast traveled to Syracuse and defeated the Silver Knights 7-6 in game one. The Blast returned home and defeated Syracuse 5-4 in game two to advance.

Second Round: The Blast hosted Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Final and defeated the Wave 10-6.

The Blast have reached the finals in 10 of their last 11 seasons, winning five championships during that period.

Monterrey Flash: 20-2

First place in the Southwest Division

First Round: Monterrey traveled to Sonora for game one and defeated Soles 8-7. Monterrey returned home and defeated Sonora 9-5 in game two to advance.

Second Round: The Flash hosted San Diego in the Western Conference Final and defeated the Sockers 6-4.

This will be the third time that the Blast and Monterrey have met in the league championship. The Blast defeated Monterrey in 2008, and Monterrey won in 2015.

Blast Regular Season Leaders:

Points:      Goals:

Tony Donatelli (43)   Tony Donatelli (22)

Vini Dantas (35)     Vini Dantas (20)

Andrew Hoxie (25)   Andrew Hoxie (16)

Jonatas Melo (24)   Juan Pereira/Lucas Roque (12)

Adriano Dos Santos (21)

Assists:       Blocks:

Tony Donatelli (21)   Pat Healey (43)

Vini Dantas (15)     Nelson Santana/Tony Donatelli (21)

Adriano Dos Santos (14)     Juan Pereira (18)

Jonatas Melo (13)   Jereme Raley/Adriano Dos Santos (16)

Pat Healey (10)

Baltimore Players to Watch:

Vini Dantas, last year's Championship MVP, leads the Blast with eight points and seven goals this postseason. His seven goals are tied for the league lead. Daniel Peruzzi is second on the team with five goals in the playoffs. Jonatas Melo has recorded three goals and four assists and Jereme Raley has recorded one goal and five assists in the playoffs. Tony Donatelli, who is 2nd Team All-MASL and the Blast's leading point scorer in the regular season, has two goals and one assist this postseason.

Pat Healey, who was named 1st Team All-MASL, leads the MASL with 16 blocked shots in the playoffs. Adriano Dos Santos, also 2nd Team All-MASL, has four blocked shots and the Blast defense enters the MASL Championship allowing 5.3 goals per game this postseason. Goalkeeper William Vanzela returned from his injury and made 19 saves in the Eastern Conference Final.

The Competition- Monterrey Flash

Brayan Aguilar leads the Flash offense with seven goals in the playoffs, tied for the league lead. Edgar Gonzalez, who was tied for the team lead with 36 points in the regular season, has recorded three goals and four assists, and Damian Garcia, who was named 2nd Team All-MASL, has three goals and three assists in the playoffs. Edgar Flores, who also had 36 points in the regular season, has one goal and four assists this postseason. Monterrey's defense is led by Hector Vallejo, who has five blocked shots in the playoffs. Goalkeeper Diego Reynoso is 3-0 this postseason with a 5.33 GAA.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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