Blast Player Profiles

October 18, 1991|By Sandra McKee

KENNY COOPER/HEAD COACH

* YEARS IN MSL: 12

COACHING RECORD: 374-277

* DIVISION TITLES: 5

* CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1

* AGE: 46

* COMMENT: Suffered through his one and only losing season last year, and has vowed to turn the team around with young and physically strong players. "The good old days of rock and roll are coming back to the Arena, I promise you that," Cooper says, as he gears his squad for the coming 40-game season.

ROD CASTRO/MIDFIELDER

* NUMBER: 12

YEARS IN MSL: 3

* HEIGHT: 5-7

* WEIGHT: 155

* AGE: 26

* COMMENT: Castro is a spirited addition to the Blast. The former San Diego Socker has skill, speed and scoring punch. He has improved each of last two seasons and is expected to hit his full stride this year. On a line with former Sockers teammate Waad Hirmez and the Blast's leading goal scorer, Domenic

Mobilio, Castro should be dynamite.

EMIL DRAGICEVIC/DEFENDER

* NUMBER: 21

YEARS IN MSL: 3

* HEIGHT: 5-10

* WEIGHT: 165

* AGE: 31

* COMMENT: A baby-faced defender, Dragicevic makes forwards pay for everything they get. He likes to play hard-nosed, man-to-man defense. The Yugoslavian native had a celebrated 10-year outdoor career before switching to the indoor game. He comes to the Blast from St. Louis, where he was an unsung hero. He's quick and a solid ball handler, which can only help the Blast's revamped defense.

DAVID EISE/DEFENDER

* NUMBER: 14

YEARS IN MSL: 4

* HEIGHT: 5-7

* WEIGHT: 150

* AGE: 26

* COMMENT: St. Louis was not happy to lose Eise, a solid defensive weapon with the Storm. The St. Louis native has good passing ability and defensive skills, likes the rough stuff and adds speed. Eise will play on a line with former St. Louis teammate Dragicevic.

IAIN FRASER/DEFENDER * NUMBER: 6

YEARS IN MSL: 6

* HEIGHT: 5-10

* WEIGHT: 165

* AGE: 27

* COMMENT: Fraser is coming off an All-Star season with the Kansas City Comets. He was the Comets' Defensive Player of the Year two years running and is a key addition. A physical defender, he is not afraid to hit or be hit. He also can score, turning in the best offensive performance of his career last season with 14 goals and 11 assists.

WAAD HIRMEZ/MIDFIELDER

* NUMBER: 11

YEARS IN MSL: 8

* HEIGHT: 5-8

* WEIGHT: 175

* AGE: 30

* COMMENT: This former San Diego Socker brings his jewel box full of championship rings (six) and his soccer ability to the Blast. Fans should love his showmanship, as he pounds the Plexiglas after goals. His Blast teammates will love his production -- 43 goals, 20 assists last season. And the opposition will hate his powerful left foot.

KRIS KELDERMAN/DEFENDER

* NUMBER: 19

YEARS IN MSL: 1

* HEIGHT: 6-1

* WEIGHT: 175

* AGE: 22

* COMMENT: The Blast's No. 1 draft choice, Kelderman was durable at Virginia, where he played in all 24 games last season and wound up as the fourth-leading scorer in team history (24 G, 22 A for 76 points). An All-American, his size and strength are assets, along with his solid shot.

JOE KOZIOL/MIDFIELDER * NUMBER: 8

YEARS IN MSL: 3

* HEIGHT: 5-8

* WEIGHT: 155

* AGE: 24

* COMMENT: After spending the last two years with Cleveland, Koziol brings experience, confidence and toughness to the Blast. He has shown ability to go for the goal with good pace. A native of Passaic, N.J., he helped lead Loyola College to three NCAA tournament bids. His older brother, Stan, played with the Blast in '88-89.

MARK METTRICK/MIDFIELDER

* NUMBER: 20

YEARS IN MSL: 4

* HEIGHT: 5-10

* WEIGHT: 170

* AGE: 27

* COMMENT: Mettrick has moved from defense, where he had become a mainstay, to his old college position at midfield. He has shown power and speed, putting on the finest training camp performance of his career. Mettrick posted career-best offensive numbers (7 G, 9 A) last season while playing defense.

DOUG MILLER/FORWARD * NUMBER: 9

YEARS IN MSL: 1

* HEIGHT: 5-8

* WEIGHT: 145

* AGE: 22

* COMMENT: A rookie from Loyola College, Miller is one of the Blast's quickest players. He has a nose for the ball and he will be given a chance to show what he can do, as the Blast tries to pick up the pace this season. May see some action as a defensive runner. He's the sixth Loyola player to make Blast roster.

DOMENIC MOBILIO/FORWARD

* NUMBER: 18

YEARS IN MSL: 4

* HEIGHT: 6-0

* WEIGHT: 175

* AGE: 22

* COMMENT: Mobilio returns 5 pounds lighter from an MVP Canadian outdoor season with the Vancouver 86ers, with whom he set an outdoor scoring record with 25 goals. That performance on top of last season's 49-goal workout with the Blast has fed his confidence. Newcomers Castro and Hirmez will work to get him the ball in the box, where he is one of the league's best finishers. His maturity shows.

DOUG NEELY/DEFENDER

* NUMBER: 15

YEARS IN MSL: 4

* HEIGHT: 5-11

* WEIGHT: 160

* AGE: 26

* COMMENT: Neely joins the Blast after two seasons in Kansas City. Known for his speed, high work rate, man-to-man marking and consistency, he is capable of going forward. A physical defender, he continues to improve. Can be recognized easily because of his long blond hair.

BILLY RONSON/MIDFIELDER * NUMBER: 7

YEARS IN MSL: 7

* HEIGHT: 5-4

* WEIGHT: 140

* AGE: 34

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