Tonight at 7:35 the Baltimore Blast take on the Rockford Rampage for the 2009 NISL indoor soccer championship. MISL, NISL, NPSL, whatever the league, the Blast has been one of the premier organizations in indoor soccer since 1980. With a win tonight the Blast will have captured 5 of the last 7 titles. The team this year has been led by Machel Millwood, team stalwart Giuliano Celenza, and veteran keeper Sagu. They finished the season as the top team with a 14-4 record. Coach Danny Kelly will lead the team into tonights championship as the favorite; getting to play at home in First Mariner Arena against a team they won 3 out of 4 against during the regular season.
I think we should come out in a big way to support this team tonight. Admittedly, the new NISL with only 5 teams is not the most prestigious league title to win; but the Blast organization has been defeating all comers in whatever the league wants to call itself for years. They used to draw as many as 12,000 fans a game during the heyday of the 80’s. Lets try to match that tonight. Indoor soccer is being squeezed out of todays sports market by the relative success of the outdoor product and recession era economics. The status of the first year NISL is not exactly stable and the future of indoor soccer in America at any sort of professional level is definitely not secure. I am not saying that tonights game will be the last game for the Blast, but I am saying lets savor having this kind of organization in town. They have been nothing short of a dynasty over the last few years and they’ve done it with the kind of athletes that most people wish were attached to the more big name sports. The roster is littered with players that are from the area originally and filled out with many that have chosen to make the Baltimore area their permanent home. These are true blue collar sports heroes. So hey Baltimore, lets give these guys the support they deserve, and help make 2009 yet another Year of Baltimore in the world of soccer.