Since producing the worst record in its 11-year history last season, the Blast has worked hard throughout the summer to shore up its defense.
The club took another step in that direction today, announcing it has signed Major Soccer League All-Star Iain Fraser, a defensive specialist who last season demonstrated he also can be an offensive weapon.
The announcement was one of several made at a news conference today. The team also made it official that Dave Johnson is the new voice of the Blast on WCAO radio. Bob Bartell is his color partner. Johnson, who worked several games last season, replaces Art Sinclair.
Fraser is the 12th man signed by the Blast for the coming season.
In Kansas City last season, Fraser played 50 games and led the now-defunct Comets in blocked shots with 91, and still managed to have career-best performances in goals (14), assists (11) and game-winning goals (four).
The performance was enough to make Fraser, 27, a name on every MSL team's shopping list this summer.
The Jedburgh, Scotland, native came to the Comets in 1986 through the college draft. An NCAA Senior Bowl all-star from Hartwick College, Fraser made an immediate impression, earning the Comets' Rookie of the Year award, blocking 34 shots and scoring a goal and an assist.
Each season his performance has improved, with many thinking he deserved All-Star status two years ago, when he was named the Comets' Defender of the Year.
It was a telling performance, given the 5-foot-10, 165-pounder was playing alongside one of the league's best markers, Kim Roentved.
Kansas City, incidentally, will not be left totally without soccer. The Atlanta Attack of the National Professional Soccer League says it will move there for the coming season, which starts Nov. 1., pending approval from the Kansas City Council on arena lease terms.