A return to two-a-day workouts and runs up and down Federal Hill are part of coach Kenny Cooper's increased conditioning regimen for the Blast this week.
Cooper said he hopes improved conditioning will help the team to even the score in a proposed rematch with the Cleveland Crunch at Du Burns Arena Sunday.
The first match was a Saturday exhibition in Richmond, Va., where the Blast lost 4-3. Cooper, who had hoped to beat Cleveland and begin setting a new tone for the coming season, was disappointed about the loss, but not totally unhappy.
"Cleveland is a very powerful and experienced team," Cooper said. "But I thought we broke out well and looked very, very solid. We just need a little more sharpness."
Blast vice president Drew Forrester said final details have yet to be settled, but the exhibition is "95 percent sure" and is tentatively set for 2 p.m. Ticket information is expected to be available by tomorrow.
"I thought we played well for a first game," said Cooper. "Our speed looked better, our defense looked good and the line of Mark Mettrick, Billy Ronson and Rusty Troy looks very, very good."
Ronson, who injured his right wrist, and Troy both scored and Mettrick had an assist. Waad Hirmez scored the Blast's third goal.
"Waad isn't there, condition-wise, yet, and he knows it," Cooper said. "But he scored a fine goal and we've got two weeks before the season starts."
The Blast had a 3-1 lead, before seeing it eroded on goals off two free kicks by Hector Marinaro and Rudy Pikuzinski and a power-play goal in the closing minute by Zoran Karic.
"We could have been a little more patient, but everyone was so anxious to play," Cooper said. "But we're going to have to be very aware of the free kicks."