At Arena, no Blast from past Away-home series with K.C. a big test

December 26, 1990|By Bill Free

Now there are more danger signs for the Baltimore Blast.

This team is suddenly having trouble winning games at the Baltimore Arena, where the floor is 180 feet long; every other Major Soccer League arena is 200 feet.

The Blast has lost two straight at home, something that rarely happened in the past two seasons, when the team had the best regular-season record in the MSL.

Baltimore was 19-7 at home last season (32-20 overall) and 16-8 two seasons ago (29-19 overall).

After losing, 5-4, to the San Diego Sockers on Saturday night at the Arena, the Blast is 6-4 at home. Three of those losses have been by one goal.

That's not the stuff champions are made of, and nobody knows it more than third-year forward Domenic Mobilio (18 goals, nine assists).

"On the road, we're so disciplined," said Mobilio. "But, at home, we run and gun. Everybody wants to impress the home crowd. We come out at home and think it's [a Blast victory] just going to happen."

Mobilio and the Blast will try to break those bad habits tomorrow night, when they entertain the Kansas City Comets at the Baltimore Arena at 7:35.

But first they have some business tonight, when they play at Kansas City at 8:35 (Channel 45).

A victory would move Baltimore (10-9) into a first-place tie with the Comets (11-8).

The Blast lost a share of first Saturday night, leaving coach Kenny Cooper angry.

Cooper is threatening to sit "a veteran or two" if the situation doesn't improve in the next two games. Cooper didn't rule out the possibility of a trade.

Midfielder Billy Ronson (16 goals, 20 assists to lead the team) says part of the Blast's problem is the San Diego stigma, which has been brought on by four losses to the Sockers in four MSL championship series.

San Diego has a 2-1 edge on Baltimore this season, winning twice by one goal at the Arena.

"We've got to get away from this thing about having to beat San Diego all the time," said Ronson. "There are six other opponents in the league. We have to stop thinking about being 0-for-4 against them in the playoffs and think of it as just another game."

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