To say there is some pressure for the Baltimore Blast to win on the road this weekend would be an understatement.
Baltimore has won only one game away from the Baltimore Arena (1-14) since Jan. 4. That includes its only road game of this season, an 8-6 loss to the Wichita Wings on Oct. 25.
The rocky road leads the Blast (1-2) to Tacoma, Wash., tonight for a game against the Stars and to San Diego on Sunday for a game against the Sockers.
Coach Kenny Cooper said the Blast showed signs of coming together in its home game, a 4-3 victory 12 days ago against Tacoma.
Cooper especially liked the performance of goalkeeper Cris Vaccaro, who had given up 15 goals in the team's first two losses. Vaccaro made 11 saves to record his first win in a Blast uniform.
"Cris is great with his feet [making kick saves] in the goal, and that gives us another dimension," said Cooper. "With the bigger goals now, it's very important that a goalkeeper be able to use his feet."
Vaccaro and the Blast defense will try to hold off the Stars again tonight at 10:35 at the Tacoma Dome.
Then it will be on to the San Diego Sports Arena for a 9:05 encounter with the seven-time Major Soccer League champion Sockers.
"I've tried to keep our team from looking past Tacoma to San Diego," said Cooper. "All you have to do is roll the ball out there and everybody is fired up for San Diego. My job is to get our players ready for Tacoma just two days before we have to meet San Diego. On the road, you have to steal games."
Last season, the Blast was guilty of theft only six times in 26 games.
Opponent: Tacoma Stars
Site: Tacoma (Wash.) Dome, 10:35 p.m.
Radio: WCAO (600 AM)
Outlook: F Domenic Mobilio (5 goals, 3 assists) leads the Blast, idle for 12 days since defeating the Stars, 4-3, at home. Waad Hirmez (2, 2) is second. Tacoma has lost 2 straight. In the first game against Baltimore, two former Blast players, F Dale Mitchell and M Freddie Thompson, were shut out, and former Blast M Carl Valentine had 1 assist.