Simon, Blast dance past Wings Rookie's first goal sparks 9-6 victory

December 09, 1990|By Bill Free

This one was more than just another Baltimore Blast-Wichita Wings indoor soccer brawl.

Blast rookie forward Chris Simon made it a game that will be remembered for a long time when he danced all over the Baltimore Arena floor after scoring the first goal of his Major Soccer League career.

Simon's short-handed goal gave the Blast a 5-2 lead late in the third quarter and helped Baltimore gain a 9-6 victory over the Wings before a crowd of 6,051.

Simon back-heeled a shot into the net at the end of a two-on-one breakaway off a pass from Angelo Panzetta and immediately began to dance around in front of the goal.

The more Simon danced the more excited he became and the crowd roared its approval.

Simon then went into what he called "The Simon Shuffle" for several more seconds before kicking the ball into the stands as is traditional for all Blast players who score goals at home.

Simon said: "I never expected to do anything like that. It wasn't planned. I was just so happy to score. I've been waiting a long time just to play [he missed first 11 games due to visa problems] and had no idea what I would do after scoring my first goal."

Simon said the goal, in just his third game in the MSL, was extra special because it came when the Blast was down a man after a two-minute holding penalty was called on Tim Wittman.

"We really needed a goal to pick us up," said Simon.

Blast forward Domenic Mobilio, who scored two goals in the victory, loved the "Simon Shuffle" so much that he stayed around to look at the video replay after the game.

"I've never seen a player do anything like that after scoring his first goal," said Mobilio. "I'm happy for him. No, I didn't expect him to go nuts. But it was great."

Veteran Blast defender Mike Stankovic said: "On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate it [Simon's dance] a 15. It was that good."

Blast (8-6) coach Kenny Cooper also said he had never seen anything quite like it.

"I knew he was looking forward to his first goal and I told him to express himself if it worked out for him," said Cooper. "He's a great kid with a great personality. You can't bottle this kind of thing."


Simon's show was worth more than any amount of promotional gimmicks the team could come up with.

Tim Wittman joined Mobilio with two goals last night and Wittman added one assist.

Wittman scored two empty-net goals in the final two minutes of the game to run the Baltimore lead to 9-6 after Wichita, using six attackers, scored two goals to make things interesting with 2:35 left in the game.

Panzetta and Dale Mitchell each had one goal and one assist for Baltimore, and Billy Ronson and Joe Barger each had two assists.

Mitchell sprained his left ankle in the third quarter and will miss tonight's game against the Tacoma Stars at the Baltimore Arena.

Blast goalkeeper Hank Henry also had a big night, making 20 saves to help drop Wichita to its 20th loss in 22 games at the Baltimore Arena in the history of the franchise.

Wichita coach Terry Nicholl said: "At least we didn't die tonight. We came back to make the game closer than the final score indicates."

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