All things considered, the Blast couldn't have scripted a better home opener than last Friday's 21-20, roller-coaster win over the Kansas City Attack.
Featured was a gut-check fourth quarter that had four lead-changes, two in the last 53 seconds that displayed the team's character and had the 8,103 in attendance on the edges of their seats.
Lee Tschantret's deciding two-pointer with 30 seconds left helped give the Blast the all-important first win, and at 7:35 tonight, when the Detroit Rockers visit the Baltimore Arena, the team will look to build on that.
"You look back, and it looks like we're marketing geniuses, the way it ended as a home opener," said Blast coach Kevin Healey.
"To be able to win a game like that proves we feel we can win at any time. We worked hard, overcame some obstacles, and pulled out the win - that's what good teams do."
A look ahead finds an offensive-minded Detroit team eager to open its season after a 19-25 finish last year. The Rockers arrive with an experienced group in back and a new international flavor that provides an unknown quantity.
Defenders Sean Bowers, Matt Knowles and Randy Prescott are all quick to jump into the offense with Romanian imports Lorin Spasovici and Costea Decu new up front. Also in the mix is 6-foot-7, 265-pound forward Shawn Boney, who gave the Blast fits in his three previous seasons with the Cleveland Crunch.
"Detroit has always been able to put a lot of points on the board, and this [season's] not going to be any different," said Blast goalkeeper Scott Hileman. "They still have a lot of the big names they had last year, and they've got some new additions we haven't seen, so we don't really know what to expect."
"We basically have to go with what we know about them, expect their big names - Sean Bowers, Matt Knowles, Randy Prescott - to run things. If we get some surprises, we'll just have to make some adjustments."
Tschantret, who led Detroit in scoring last season with 123 points before moving on to Baltimore, said one thing you can always count on from the Rockers is an honest day's work.
"Typically, Detroit teams work really hard. Playing with those guys last year, I had a lot of respect for them as far as their work rate," he said. "They're ... going to fight to the end, so a very important thing for us is to be organized and match their work rate."
Healey found plenty of positives, but also some negatives from last week's opener.
He was pleased with how the team came back, not only at the end of the game but also at the start of the second half when, down 15-10, the game could have slipped away.
The offensive firepower was also impressive, led by Denison Cabral, whose 13 points made him National Professional Soccer League Player of the Week.
But Healey had the team work extra time in practice this week to rectify inconsistency on power plays, in short-handed situations and on free kicks.
"The key for us is doing what we do well, continuing to play good team defense and make Detroit work ... defensively," said Healey. "We also have to stay away from free kicks. Detroit, with Knowles, Prescott and Bowers, can hurt you on free kicks, because they all hit the ball a ton."
Veteran midfielder Danny Kelly doesn't concern himself with the other team, just making sure his side does what's necessary to win.
"If we get on the same page and have everyone working up and down the field, I don't think we have to worry too much about the other team," he said.