Blast shows faith in UMBC, selecting Wells, Wakefield


March 13, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Blast tapped a familiar source - UMBC - in yesterday's Major Indoor Soccer League amateur draft, selecting defender Andy Wells with its territorial pick and then taking midfielder P.J. Wakefield in the first round.

Wells, from England, was a four-time All-Northeast Conference performer who made the All-South Atlantic Region first team at sweeper last fall. Wakefield, a Calvert Hall grad, had five goals and one assist last fall to finish with 17 goals and 14 assists in his four-year Retrievers career.

Both have practiced regularly with the Blast this season, and head coach/general manager Kevin Healey said that, with all the team's injuries, there is a possibility either could be signed for the remainder of the season.

In last year's draft, the Blast used its territorial pick to select former UMBC standout striker Giuliano Celenza (Archbishop Curley) and then chose his Retrievers teammate, defender Billy Nelson (Bel Air), in the first round.

Celenza is fifth on the team in scoring this season with 63 points and Nelson is a strong candidate for league Rookie of the Year honors.

"We're real happy to get Andy and P.J. - both have spent a good bit of time practicing with us and have looked good. One of the highlights of this season has been the play of Giuliano Celenza and Billy Nelson, so hopefully Andy and P.J. can match that some day," said Healey.

The Blast stayed at home with its final three selections, taking Loyola defender Michael Nelson with its second pick, followed by Towson sweeper Steve Hoeck and Loyola midfielder A.J. Ogilvie.

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