The teams at a glance

Misl Preview

November 11, 2005|By GARY LAMBRECHT

Blast

Coach -- Tim Wittman

Last season -- 15-24 regular season; did not qualify for playoffs

Outlook -- Only another injury-marred season will keep the Blast out of the hunt for a third league title in four seasons. Machel Millwood, Adauto Neto and Steve Fell should blend well with the core of veterans.

Milwaukee Wave

Coach -- Keith Tozer

Last season -- 24-15 regular season; won league title

Outlook -- The Wave lost defensive anchor Pat White in the expansion draft but still has MVP Greg Howes (73 points), second-leading scorer Giuliano Oliviero (40) and a tremendous supporting cast.

Chicago Storm

Coach -- Frank Klopas

Last season -- 18-21 regular season; did not qualify for playoffs

Outlook -- The Storm allowed 237 goals last year, just one fewer than the last-place Blast. Chicago addressed its needs wisely in the dispersal draft by acquiring John Ball and Matt Johnson from Cleveland and adding midfielder Justin Evans from Kansas City.

Philadelphia KiXX

Coach -- Don D'Ambra

Last season -- 22-17 regular season; eliminated by Cleveland in semifinal playoff round

Outlook -- The KiXX retained enough strength to make another title run. Goalie of the Year Peter Pappas, Defender of the Year Pat Morris and Rookie of the Year John Barry Nusom are back.

St. Louis Steamers

Coach -- Omid Namazi

Last season -- 20-20 regular season; eliminated by Milwaukee in semifinal playoff round

Outlook -- Namazi, the Coach of the Year with Cleveland, takes over a team that needed a shot of offense, and got it last month. In a trade with California, the Steamers picked up forward Jamie Beasley, who amassed 83 points in two seasons with Kansas City.

California Cougars

Coach -- Troy Dayak

Last season -- Did not exist

Outlook -- The Cougars might struggle early as they adjust to each other and the demands of Dayak, but they grabbed enough talent in the expansion draft to be respectable right away. Among their pickups were former Blast goalie Brian Rowland.

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