Blast Player Profiles

October 19, 1990|By Sandra McKee

KENNY COOPER/HEAD COACH * YEARS IN MSL: 11

COACHING RECORD: 353-247

* DIVISION TITLES: 5

* MSL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1

* AGE: 45

* COMMENT: Always known for his work ethic, Cooper's 307 regular-season victories lead the league and his .595 winning percentage is third, behind only Don Popovic (.648) and Ron Newman (.642). He is the only head coach the Blast has ever had and has assembled a potent team he believes can again challenge for the MSL title. "We thrive on being the team to beat," he says, and means it.

JOE BARGER/MIDFIELDER

* NUMBER: 11

YEARS IN MSL: 2

* HEIGHT: 5-11

* WEIGHT: 165

* AGE: 23

* COMMENT: Typical Blast player, he gives it everything he has. Strong, physical and moves well up and down the floor; can play up front and at the back. Developed self-confidence this summer while playing for the Bays in the American Soccer League.

RICHARD CHINAPOO/MIDFIELDER

* NUMBER: 14

YEARS IN MSL: 7

* HEIGHT: 6-1

* WEIGHT: 175

* AGE: 33

* COMMENT: After two years in Dallas, he returns to the Blast in superb condition. Provides the hardest shot in the league and should benefit from MSL rule change that increased goal size by 30 percent. Gives the team an additional outside threat and can score with either foot.

DOMINIC FELTHAM/MIDFIELDER * NUMBER: 9

YEARS IN MSL: Rookie

* HEIGHT: 5-10

* WEIGHT: 160

* AGE: 23

* COMMENT: The team's No. 2 draft choice from the University of Maryland, Feltham has shown a good finishing touch and has deceptive speed, which he uses to his advantage on turns and redirection plays.

CHRIS HAYWOOD/FORWARD * NUMBER: 8

YEARS IN MSL: Rookie

* HEIGHT: 5-3

* WEIGHT: 140

* AGE: 22

* COMMENT: Good things often come in small packages. The smallest player on the team, Haywood has proven he can play with the big guys. He has quick feet, good speed and strong legs, which move a mile a minute getting him up and down the floor for solid work at both ends.

SCOTT MANNING/GOALKEEPER

* NUMBER: 31

YEARS IN MSL: 12

* HEIGHT: 6-1

* WEIGHT: 160

* AGE: 33

* COMMENT: Simply "The Best." Earned team's Most Valuable Player award for the 1989-90 regular season. His overall 22-12 record and 3.50 goals-against average was the best of his career. Manning's great consistency combined with outstanding conditioning has him at his peak.

MARK METTRICK/DEFENDER

* NUMBER: 20

YEARS IN MSL: 3

* HEIGHT: 5-9

* WEIGHT: 155

* AGE: 25

* COMMENT: He thrives on physical play and could be on his way to MSL All-Star status this season. Mettrick has an "educated" left foot and used it to become the Blast's second-leading scorer in the playoffs last season. As far as skills go, he's beginning to resemble All-Star Bruce Savage.

DALE MITCHELL/FORWARD

* NUMBER: 15

YEARS IN MSL: 7

* HEIGHT: 6-0

* WEIGHT: 170

* AGE: 32

* COMMENT: Acquired in trade for Carl Valentine this summer. Mitchell, a franchise player, was the league's leading goal-scorer the past four years. Obviously a great finisher, he can make something from nothing. Provides another strong target man. He's the team's biggest acquisition since Stan Stamenkovic arrived in 1983.

DOMENIC MOBILIO/FORWARD

* NUMBER: 18

YEARS IN MSL: 3

* HEIGHT: 6-0

* WEIGHT: 175

* AGE: 21

* COMMENT: Joined the Blast as an 18-year-old "diamond in the rough" and has turned into a brilliant gem. Even as a marked man last season, Mobilio produced a team-high 41 goals. Blast coach Kenny Cooper calls him "one of the greatest finishers I've ever seen in the indoor game." Combines finesse and strength and needs just half-a-chance to fashion a goal.

ANGELO PANZETTA/DEFENDER * NUMBER: 2

YEARS IN MSL: 2

* HEIGHT: 5-10

* WEIGHT: 155

* AGE: 23

* COMMENT: Performed well as a rookie in 24 games and now will be given a chance to excel. Panzetta is similar to Bruce Savage in his ability to anticipate action. His strengths are speed and his determination to learn the game.

MIKE REYNOLDS/DEFENDER * NUMBER: 3

YEARS IN MSL: 4

* HEIGHT: 5-11

* WEIGHT: 160

* AGE: 26

* COMMENT: He has been the team's Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player and last season he became the Unsung Hero. What's next? MVP? He will sacrifice his body for a block and is a key element on the penalty-killing unit. Plus, he proved his shot isn't all bad either, with a heroic two-goal, fourth-quarter effort against Kansas City in the Eastern Division finals last spring.

BILLY RONSON/MIDFIELDER * NUMBER: 7

YEARS IN MSL: 6

* HEIGHT: 5-4

* WEIGHT: 145

* AGE: 33

* COMMENT: Three years ago, Ronson's ears burned as coach Kenny Cooper often singed them with demands for production. Now, Ronson has grown into an impact player. He's coming off his best season (24 goals, 27 assists), has a great work rate and may well be the league's best up-and-down-the-floor player.

BRUCE SAVAGE/DEFENDER

* NUMBER: 22

YEARS IN MSL: 8

* HEIGHT: 5-7

* WEIGHT: 150

* AGE: 29

* COMMENT: His strong man-to-man marking ability has made him one of the top two defenders in the league during the past five years. A six-time All-Star, Savage led the team in blocked shots a year ago with 86. He enters this season having played in 98 consecutive games, a club record.

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