Domenic Mobilio has broken out of a slump, backup goalkeeper Hank Henry is on a roll and little Billy Ronson is making big waves in the Major Soccer League scoring race.
That is the state of the Baltimore Blast as it prepares to play the Tacoma Stars tonight (10:35) at the Tacoma Dome.
Mobilio had been limited to two goals and two assists in four games before scoring twice in the Blast's 5-4 overtime victory over the Sockers on Thursday night in San Diego.
"Dom's never going to be shut out for very long," Blast coach Kenny Cooper said last night from Tacoma, Wash. "He and Dale Mitchell have been double- and triple-teamed at times this season, and you can't expect him to score two goals every game. But he'll always bounce back."
Mobilio's second goal Thursday night was a big one, coming with 36 seconds left in regulation play, tying the game at 4, and setting the stage for Ronson to win it on a 30-foot shot 5 minutes, 33 seconds into sudden-death overtime.
Mobilio scored Baltimore's first goal of the game with 13:31 left in the third quarter to start a three-goal rally that gave the Blast a 3-2 lead at the end of the quarter.
But the Sockers wiped out that advantage with goals from Paul Wright and Waad Hirmez for a 4-3 lead with 3:50 remaining in the game.
The two goals against the Sockers were especially sweet for Mobilio because he had had no goals or assists and had taken only two shots against San Diego at the Baltimore Arena on Nov. 9 in a 8-7 loss.
Henry, who practiced only one day with the team before stepping into the goal after Scoop Stanisic was released, has helped win two straight since his losing debut with the Blast.
Henry has given up four goals in each of the victories, a total that probably will win most games in this season of bigger goals -- 14 feet wide, instead of 12 feet, and 7 1/2 feet high, instead of 6 1/2 .
"Hank Henry is a quietly confident player," Cooper said. "He gets the ball down the field very quickly with a strong arm to start our transition game. He's a workmanlike player who is not flashy but gets the job done."
Then there's Ronson, all 5 feet 4 of him. At 33, Ronson is supposed to be slowing down. But he seems to be getting better with age.
Ronson (6 goals, 15 assists for fourth place) is rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Dallas Sidekicks' Tatu (the leader with 14 goals, 11 assists) and the St. Louis Storm's Preki (second with 13 goals, 9 assists) in the league scoring race.
Said Cooper: "Billy has a great hunger and desire to compete. He's becoming a gifted goal scorer and a finisher. He's coming off two good seasons and from all indications, he might have an even better year this season."