The word is out on Iain Fraser.
The Baltimore Blast defender has turned the Major Soccer League around during the past 10 games because of a strict aerobic fitness program that is being directed by his wife, Denise.
It took a little prodding yesterday before Fraser would talk about the aerobics program, but he admitted: "It has made me stronger for the fourth quarter."
Fraser has blocked 29 shots in the past 10 games (most in the MSL during that span), and he has contributed three goals and five assists.
Before divulging the aerobics workouts, Fraser said: "I'm a private person. My wife and I have our own agenda. We have the things we do."
Then after a little hesitation, he revealed the secret behind his drive to the Blast Most Valuable Player award for the second quarter of the 40-game season.
"Denise and I have joined the Padonia Fitness Club, where I work out at least three days a week," said Fraser. "Denise has overseen an aerobics fitness workout, and I also ride a bike and lift weights. It has really helped me."
Denise Fraser was an aerobics instructor in Kansas City when her husband played for the defunct Kansas City Comets, qualifying her for the job.
If Iain Fraser continues to excel the second half of the season, there may be more Blast players showing up for Denise Fraser's classes.
But, for now, Fraser is content to be part of what he calls a mission to prove that all the controversial changes made by the Blast in the off-season were right.
Fraser is one of eight MSL veterans from other teams that were rounded up by coach Kenny Cooper and brought to Baltimore this season.
Those eight players replaced the likes of Tim Wittman, Scott Manning, Bruce Savage, Dale Mitchell and Richard Chinapoo.
"When Kenny goes out and changes the team around," said Fraser, "it's only natural that you want to help prove him right. We don't want to forget those players in the past. We just want to build on what they did."
Fraser, 27, said it was tough at first being one of the new kids on the block because the fans weren't especially supportive.
"But now things have picked up, with more people coming to games and more fans being receptive to me," said Fraser. "After you make so many appearances, the fans get to know you and say, 'I met that guy at such-and-such a place.' "
Fraser said there is still some disappointment when he goes to an appearance where some of the young women expected to see Domenic Mobilio.
"Dom's a popular bachelor, you know," said Fraser.
But Cooper is always glad to see Fraser.
"Iain is one player that you don't have to worry about doing the job in a game," said Cooper. "You know he will be there for you every night of the season. He's one of the best signees we've made in franchise history. You write his name in the lineup and you don't have to be concerned anymore."
NOTES: UMBC F Jason Dieter and Towson State F Joe Layfield, both Baltimore soccer products, were among 32 seniors selected yesterday to play in the annual collegiate indoor all-star game that is played in conjunction with the MSL All-Star Game. This year's collegiate game is billed as the USAir College Indoor Soccer Showcase and will be played at the Baltimore Arena, Feb. 13 at 5:05 p.m., before the 7:35 p.m. MSL All-Star Game. Dieter also played at Archbishop Curley and Essex Community College, and Layfield followed Wittman and John Karpovich to Calvert Hall. Both players say their style of play is tailored to the indoor game and they hope to be drafted by 1 of the MSL teams.