Blast sets team record with 7 All-Stars

Team also leads league

Regis, Celenza debuting

February 05, 2004|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

The Blast will have a team-record and league-high seven representatives in the Major Indoor Soccer League All-Star Game Feb. 29 in St. Louis, the league announced yesterday.

Goalkeeper Scott Hileman, defender Danny Kelly and forward Giuliano Celenza will play for the side representing the United States, while forwards Denison Cabral, Carlos "Chile" Farias and David Bascome and defender Wendell Regis will play for the International squad.

"I think having seven players chosen is a reflection of our championship season and our continuing strong performance this year," Blast general manager Kevin Healey said.

The Milwaukee Wave, the team the Blast beat for the MISL title last season, placed six players in the game.

The players were selected by a vote of club officials and media.

The Blast has had as many as four players picked three previous times.

The starting lineup for the game will be chosen over the next two weeks by the fans. Beginning tomorrow, fans can visit the MISL's Web site, www.misl.net and make their picks. Online voting will end at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 22, and the results will be released the evening of Feb. 26.

In Kansas City, where the Blast played yesterday morning and beat the Comets, 10-7, Bascome, a six-time All-Star in his 13th season, was enjoying his seniority. He was passing the afternoon by teasing Regis, who with Celenza, earned his first All-Star selection.

"I'm sure Wendell and Giuliano will each get tortured a little bit, being this is their first one," said Bascome, 34. "But at the end of the day, we're all going to enjoy it. On our team, any one of us could be an All-Star, and I think for seven of us to make it says a lot about this team."

Regis, 33, a native of Trinidad, was trying to take the selection in stride. Of the seven players, his selection was probably the most unexpected. In his eighth season, he is a solid defender, leading the team in blocked shots (38), but he is not a flashy player who dazzles the opposition.

"Usually the same guys make the team, but this year, with the way it is set up - Americans against the International players - it probably helped me," he said. "We don't have too many foreign defenders.

"But I'm excited. It's my first time, and I think it's going to be a good experience."

Celenza, who has 20 goals and seven assists this season, was still trying to believe he had been selected late yesterday.

"I'm just a young guy and I didn't expect it," said Celenza, 25, a Baltimore native who attended Archbishop Curley and UMBC. "It's a privilege for me to be named to that team. I'm more surprised by that than I am that we have seven players on it. I think there should be more."

Joining Regis on the International side is Farias, who came to the Blast in an offseason trade with the San Diego Sockers for Sean Bowers, who was also selected. Farias leads the league with 31 assists.

Hileman, who has been a workhorse this season, is 17-5 with a 4.73 goals-against average. He leads the league in wins.

Cabral, who will be playing in his fifth All-Star Game, is the Blast's all-time scoring leader. He is second on the team in points and has combined with Bascome and Farias for 52 goals and 55 assists this season.

This is Kelly's third selection to the team, but his first as a defender. He made the transition from midfield to defense this season.

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