One more win clinches Blast's 3rd straight title

Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 19:03:01-04

It's days like Wednesday when the Baltimore Blast is happy they play indoor soccer.

"Absolutely. Yeah. You don't want to be out there in those conditions," said Blast leading scorer Tony Donatelli.

"Yeah. This is why I started playing indoor," added Blast defender Pat Healey.

Members of the Blast made their way through Wednesday's Winter Storm Toby to prepare for the Major Arena Soccer League Championship game. They visit Western Conference champ Monterrey, Mexico on Sunday night.

"There's no fear. This is what we play for," said Blast Head Coach Danny Kelly. "Can we bring home another championship in a hostile environment? That's what we intend to do."

Sunday's matchup is a repeat of the 2015 MASL Final,  which is also the last time the Blast didn't win the championship.

"They have, I think, nine players carried over from that year and I think we have the same," said Donatelli.

Baltimore is going for its tenth league title in franchise history and third straight MASL championship. 

The history involved in being able to three-peat isn't lost on the coaches and players.

"It would mean a lot. It doesn't happen many times in all of professional sports. It's something that we really do want to make history with that," said Donatelli.

"Back-to-back is hard to do. Three-peat is even unlikely. We're up for the task," said Healey.

All-star goalie William Vanzela is back for the defending champs. He started the Eastern Conference title game win over Milwaukee. It was his first game action since suffering a brutal injury back in January.

"I tore my groin, my adductor and my abs," he said. "That's a 12-week injury and I came back in week eight. Which is, for me, a miracle."

Vanzela gets the call in goal again on Sunday with another ring hanging in the balance. 

The game will kick off at 7:05 p.m.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook