At A Glance

October 09, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham

Eastern Division


Coach: Tim Wittman

Last season: 25-11 during regular season; won second straight Major Indoor Soccer League championship.

Outlook: By acquiring former Dallas Sidekicks All-Star goalkeeper Sagu this week, the Blast appears to have all the pieces in place for a third straight league crown.

Cleveland Force

Coach: Omid Namazi

Last season: 15-21, eliminated by now-defunct Dallas in the quarterfinal round.

Outlook: Blast nemesis Namazi, who led the Philadelphia KiXX to a championship in 2002, returns to the MISL with an aim at turning around the Force's fortunes.

Philadelphia KiXX

Coach: Don D'Ambra

Last season: 20-16, eliminated by Kansas City in the quarterfinal round.

Outlook: Familiar names - player/coach D'Ambra, All-Star goalie Peter Pappas, Joel Shanker, Kevin Sloane and Goran Vasic - figure to once again give the Blast its biggest challenge in the division.

Central Division

Chicago Storm

Coach: Frank Klopas

Last season: New league entry

Outlook: This franchise gives the league some big-market credibility, and Klopas, an All-Star with the Sting of the old MISL, is a hometown hero.

Milwaukee Wave

Coach: Keith Tozer

Last season: 27-9, eliminated by the Blast in the championship round.

Outlook: With six trips to the finals in the past seven years, the Wave has found mixed success - winning its first three visits but settling on the runner-up spot the past three years.

St. Louis Steamers

Coach: Daryl Doran

Last season: 14-22, did not qualify for the playoffs.

Outlook: The defense was sturdy enough last season with former Blast goalkeeper Brett Phillips in charge, but the Steamers' offense, which notched a league-low 158 goals, had little steam.

Western Division

Kansas City Comets

Coach: Zoran Savic

Last seson: 17-19, eliminated by Milwaukee in the quarterfinal round.

Outlook: Dino Delevski, a two-time league MVP and scoring champ, takes the explosive Comets out West, where they'll be the division's team to beat.

Monterrey Fury

Coach: Erich Geyer

Last season: 10-26, did not qualify for the playoffs.

Outlook: The one-two punch of defender Genoni Martinez and forward Marco Lopez combined for 68 goals and 60 assists in the Mexican team's inaugural 2003-04 season.

San Diego Sockers

Coach: Brian Quinn

Last season: 13-23, did not qualify for the playoffs.

Outlook: An old Blast friend, midfielder Paul Wright, and a legendary rival, goalkeeper Victor Nogueira, will try to restore the Sockers' rich tradition.

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