Blast goalie Sagu hurt, questionable for Game 1

Pro soccer

April 27, 2006|By JEFF SEIDEL

The Blast received bad news yesterday when starting goalie Sagu pulled a calf muscle and will be questionable for tomorrow night's Game 1 of the Major Indoor Soccer League championship series with St. Louis Steamers.

Sagu said he hurt the calf muscle while loosening up for practice. He stopped to get it looked at, and backup goalie Sanaldo spent the entire workout in goal. Sagu left practice on crutches and went to the doctor, who confirmed the muscle pull and put the goalie on anti-inflammatory medication.

"I [heard] my calf pop a little bit in practice." Sagu said. "I stopped, I talked to the trainer and then said I'd go to the doctor."

Team officials weren't sure of Sagu's status. Player-interim coach Danny Kelly said they"d simply have to wait and see. General manager Kevin Healey said the team will watch how Sagu feels at today's practice and afterward before deciding who starts tomorrow.

"We're going to see what happens, and we're going to see how his body reacts." Healey said. "If he's prepared to go, that would be great. But if he isn't, this is why we drafted Sanaldo in the dispersal draft. He's an excellent goalkeeper, and he'll be ready to go."

Game 2 is Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. The series is a best-of-two format, with the golden-goal tiebreaker if the teams split the two games. That would take place in an overtime period after Game 2 - and it's how the Blast beat Milwaukee in the semifinals to move to the championship round for the third time in four years.

Sagu blossomed this season into one of the MISL's top goalies. He ranked second in the league with a 15-9 record. His goals-against average of 5.02 also was second in the league. Sagu has been spectacular in net in recent weeks, helping an improving Blast defense fare better.

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