For Blast, this will be a weekend without rest

Tonight's home game against Comets followed by day game at Milwaukee


November 09, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Moving on, the Blast will not be losing any sleep over its protest that went for naught regarding last weekend's overtime loss in Philadelphia. The team will, however, be losing sleep over its upcoming schedule.

The Blast's weekend starts with a 7:30 home game tonight against the Kansas City Comets and then continues on to Milwaukee for a game tomorrow afternoon at 1 against the Wave.

In between, the players have to get to BWI Airport by 4:30 a.m. tomorrow for a 6:05 flight to Chicago before getting to Milwaukee at 9:05. If all goes as planned, the team can check into its hotel to catch a nap before game time.

"That's our job," said Blast veteran midfielder Danny Kelly. "We get up and got to play a soccer game in Milwaukee the next day. It's going to be tough, but we're all going to be there. We're not going to just go down there and roll over; everybody is going to be prepared for it."

Winning at home is always considered vital, but Blast head coach Kevin Healey said a positive result against the Comets tonight is even more important to help make the early wake-up a little easier.

"In this case, you definitely want to go into that Milwaukee game with a win because that's going to be a tough assignment. So we have to focus on Kansas City and then we'll address the [Milwaukee] assignment when it comes," said Healey.

Blast forward Giuliano Celenza returns to the lineup after missing the past two games with a hip pointer. He scored twice in the Blast's 9-6 win over the Comets in the two teams' first meeting at Baltimore Arena on Oct. 26.

The Blast (2-2) got more good news with defender Jason Dieter's return to practice this week after his second knee surgery since last spring. He hopes to return to action by the end of the month.

"Giuliano is such a special player. He goes to goal hard, he's got great quickness and he's a very good finisher, so he gives us a little juice in our lineup we're looking forward to getting back," said Healey. "Jason's to the point he wants to play so badly, and you love to see that in a veteran. He's gone through two surgeries and there's no thought like, `Well, maybe I can't do it.' "

The Comets, coming off a 13-12 win at Harrisburg on Saturday to improve to 2-3, bring a dangerous attack led by veterans Wes Wade and Goran Hunjak. The key for the Blast will be controlling the tempo early.

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