When the Blast plays in its Major Soccer League home opener Oct. 19, former Kansas City defender Doug Neely will be wearing one of the team's new uniforms with No. 15 on his jersey.
The club announced yesterday, Neely is the latest player to sign for the coming season, bringing the current roster number to 10.
The Blast's regular-season schedule is expected to be ready late this afternoon, but assistant general manager Drew Forrester said the team will open against Dallas, Oct. 19, and will play 18 of its 20 home games on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. There are only 20 home games this season, because the MSL has reduced its regular season schedule from 52 to 40 games.
Neely, a 26-year-old, who will be playing in his fifth Major Soccer League season, is coming off his best season. He appeared in 47 games with 11 goals, 14 assists and a career-best 66 blocks. Neely played two seasons for the now defunct Los Angeles Lazers before joining Kansas City in 1989.
"I know I'm going to a strong organization that takes great pride in winning, and I look forward to helping the Blast be the most successful team in the league," Neely said.
The Blast, which will be without solid defenders Bruce Savage and Michael Reynolds this season are in need of an experienced, speedy player in the back to help fill the void.
"Doug has exactly what we're looking for in a young player," said Blast coach Kenny Cooper. "He has good speed, a good work ethic and plenty of experience. He has improved in each of his four MSL seasons and certainly knows the indoor game. His man-to-man making ability and play on special teams should also be helpful."