The Blast stands to save $700,000 along with the other seven teams in the Major Soccer League next season, thanks to a unanimous vote by the MSL board of directors to cut the league schedule from 52 to 40 games.
"I'm delighted," said Blast owner Ed Hale, who as chairman of the scheduling committee made the presentation for the cutback. "I expected a lot of resistance, because all the other owners have been around a lot longer than I have. I didn't want to jam it down anyone's throat. I simply told them that I thought this would be very good for our league."
MSL commissioner Earl Foreman said it would be a weekend-dominated schedule that is being predicated on a 10-team league, with Pittsburgh and Buffalo expected to join for the 1991-92 season.
* HAPPY HOUND: Loyola College forward Doug Miller scored with 2:27 left to give the East a 6-5 win over the West in the MSL College Indoor Soccer Showcase last night in Kansas City. Miller, who had impressed Blast officials in practice the day before, scored off a pass from Sangamon State's Curt Mosier, who had scored to tie the game with 3:12 to go.
* IN, OUT; HERE, THERE: With the shortening of the MSL schedule, Foreman pointed out there is now an obvious window for MSL teams to play outdoor games. Foreman said a schedule is in the making for this summer that will include international games, possibly games with the U.S. National team and also meetings between MSL teams.
Hale said the Blast will definitely participate in the outdoor league, and Foreman said the Blast is 90 percent sure of returning to England next fall for an indoor tournament.
* STARS ON TAPE: Tonight's MSL's All-Star Game will be broadcast on tape by Home Team Sports Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and again at 11:30 p.m.
* A BROADER LEAF: Candy maker Leaf Inc. announced a multimillion-dollar deal with the league that will extend to the 1994 World Cup. The company, which has used the Blast as a test market, will broaden its scope this season with advertising in Dallas, Kansas City and San Diego and will be in every MSL city next year.