BLAST PLAYERS AND KELLY RECEIVE TOP MISL HONORS
Lookingland is Most Valuable Player and Defender of the Year
BALTIMORE. – The Major Indoor Soccer League honored its top performers of the season today, announcing the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defender of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2013-14 season. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Independence, Missouri, site of tomorrow’s first leg of the 2014 MISL Championship Series featuring the Missouri Comets and the Baltimore Blast.
MISL award winners were selected through a vote by MISL team management.
Most Valuable Player – Mike Lookingland, Baltimore Blast
The Blast’s captain added to the individual accolades earned during a standout career with his first Most Valuable Player award after leading his side to the best record in the league and the league-fewest points allowed. Despite being a defender Lookingland also led the Blast with 56 points, good for seventh in the MISL, and led the league with 33 blocked shots. Lookingland is the Blast’s first MVP since the 2005-06 season, when it was awarded to his current teammate, Adauto Neto.
Rookie of the Year – Odaine Sinclair, St. Louis Ambush
The Jamaican from Baker University had a strong first season for the expansion Ambush as he led all rookies with 37 points. As impressive as his finishing touch was, however, it was Sinclair’s work-rate which saw him constantly harrying opposing defenders that made him a player to watch in each of the Ambush’s contests. Sinclair’s most memorable performance of the season came when he had a hat trick and set up Cory Adamson’s game-winning goal in overtime as the Ambush defeated Syracuse 14-12 on December 29, 2013.
Coach of the Year – Danny Kelly, Baltimore Blast
Kelly claimed his fourth Coach of the Year award as the defending champions used a second-half surge to win the MISL regular season title by concluding the season on a nine-game winning streak. Kelly, a former Blast player, will try to win his fifth championship as a coach this weekend after having won three during his playing career.
Defender of the Year – Mike Lookingland, Baltimore Blast
In addition to claiming the MISL MVP award Lookingland also claimed the Defender of the Year Award for a third consecutive season. The stalwart defender, now in his eighth season with the club, led the league with 33 blocked shots and only took one misconduct penalty all season as he conceded only 14 fouls.
Goalkeeper of the Year – William Vanzela, Baltimore Blast
Vanzela, the 2013 MISL Championship Series MVP, had a breakout second season that saw him set a new current-era record with a 5.57 points-against average. While having a strong defense led by MVP Mike Lookingland in front of him, Vanzela repeatedly came up with big saves at big moments, and set a record with a .833 save percentage as the Blast conceded less than half the points of the second-best defense in the league.
Baltimore and Missouri will face off in the best-of-three 2014 MISL Championship Series starting Friday at the Independence Events Center in Missouri (8:35 p.m. ET, Youtube), with the second leg set for Sunday at Baltimore Arena (5:05 p.m. ET, Youtube). A deciding mini-game will be played immediately following Game 2 if needed.