Alleged racial slurs by fans mar Blast's win over KiXX

Philadelphia's Boney says two women insulted him during Blast's 7-4 victory

Pro Soccer

December 27, 2004|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

The Philadelphia KiXX were angry after last night's 7-4 loss to the Blast, but it wasn't the score that had them incensed.

At some point in the fourth period, KiXX forward Shawn Boney said he was racially insulted by two women behind the goal at the stage end of 1st Mariner Arena.

Boney, who is from Trinidad, reported the incident to his coach and to Blast officials. He left quickly for the team bus after the game.

"Being supportive of your team is one thing," said KiXX coach Don D'Ambra. "But there is never a time when racial slurs are acceptable or appropriate."

The alleged conduct shocked players and officials on both teams.

"Anybody who knows us, knows our organization is as far from being prejudiced as you can get," Blast general manager Kevin Healey said. "Our record speaks for itself. Unfortunately, by the time I heard about the reported incident, the Philadelphia team and the fans had already left.

"I will try to find the two women who were described, and they'll probably deny it. But I'll have a plan in place by the next time Philly comes here and if someone is doing it, they'll be caught. We certainly don't condone it."

Healey said he will apologize to the Philadelphia organization and make a special trip to Philadelphia to talk to Boney before the Blast's next game with the KiXX here Jan. 21.

The matter spoiled a fine night for the Blast, which won for the second straight game and the first time this season against Philadelphia (8-6), which leads the Major Indoor Soccer League's Eastern Division.

Last night's win before 3,827 improved the Blast's record to 6-8 and moved it within two games of the KiXX and ahead of its other Eastern rival, the Cleveland Force (4-6), by percentage points.

"I think we're just feeling more confident," said Blast midfielder Allen Eller, who scored the overtime game-winner Dec. 18 against the St. Louis Steamers and followed it last night with two goals and an assist. "With the injuries we've had, it just took us awhile to get going."

Blast goalie Brian Rowland, who has won three of the four games he has started this month, made 15 saves. He also earned his first assist when he threw an outlet pass to Chile Farias for the goal that turned out to be the game-winner 5:42 into the fourth period.

The assist was particularly pleasing for Rowland, coming after he had made a pass he felt was ill-advised and resulted in a goal by KiXX forward Goran Vasic that tightened the game to 4-3.

"I should have been a little smarter with the ball on that previous play," Rowland said. "But my confidence is better now. ... I got over it quickly and as soon as I got a chance, I made a great pass to Chile for the goal.

"I think as a team we were up for this game from the start. We did the little things - collectively getting behind the ball, clearing the balls off the boards - we did all the hard work that is going to get us success."

The Blast came back from a 1-0 deficit in the opening period, matching the first of two goals by Kevin Sloan with one by rookie Michel Millwood. Then Giuliano Celenza and David Bascome scored before halftime to give the Blast breathing room at 3-1.

The KiXX closed within 3-2 with rookie John Barry Nusum's 14th goal.

Phila. 1 0 1 2 - 4

Blast 2 1 1 3 - 7

First quarter - 1. Philadelpia, Sloan (Barnes) 3:41; 2. Blast, Millwood 6:17; 3. Blast, Celenza (Farias)(RSG) 9:48. Penalties: None.

Second quarter - 4. Blast, Bascome (Eller) 14:22. Penalties: None.

Third quarter - 5. Philadelphia, Nusum 4:12; 6. Blast, Eller (Millwood) 8:22. Penalties: Nusum, Philadelphia (Holding), 4:24. Schweitzer, Blast (Unsportmanlike Conduct), 15:00.

Fourth quarter - 7. Philadelphia, Vasic 0:11; 8.

Blast, Farias (Rowland) 5:42.9; Philadelphia, Sloan (Morris) 7:08; 10. Blast, Tschantret (Celenza) 7:35; 11. Blast, Eller (Tschantret)(VS6) 14:13. Penalties: None.

Shots on goal: Phila. 4-5-4-14-27; Blast 6-5-8-6-25. Penalty kicks: Philadelphia 0 of 0; Blast 0 of 0. Shootouts: Philadelphia 0 of 0; Blast 0 of 0. Power plays: Philadelphia 0 of 0; Blast 0 of 1. Saves: Philadelphia, Peter Pappas 9, Devlin Barnes 0, Pat Morris 0; Blast : Brian Rowland 15. A - 3,827.

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