Blast nets awards

Kelly named top coach

Sagu, P. Healey also recognized

Pro Soccer

April 08, 2009|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Special to The Baltimore Sun

The Blast reaped a flock of individual rewards from its regular-season championship in the National Indoor Soccer League on Tuesday.

Danny Kelly was voted the Coach of the Year after leading the Blast to a 14-4 record and into Saturday night's title game against the Rockford Rampage at 1st Mariner Arena. During the three-plus seasons he has served as coach, the team is 50-33 in regular-season play and 9-2 in the postseason, including championships in 2006 and 2008.

"It's nice to win awards, but to be honest our goal is to lift that trophy," Kelly said.

Veteran Sagu won his second straight Goalkeeper of the Year award for anchoring the NISL's best defense. He led the league with 11 wins, a 7.48 points-against average and .791 save percentage. He was also named to the all-NISL first team.

Pat Healey, son of Blast vice president-general manager Kevin Healey, was chosen Rookie of the Year after scoring 16 points, tops for a first-year player. He is a graduate of Towson University and former Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year. Teammate Adrian Bumbut was also picked for the All-Rookie team.

Two other Blast regulars, forward Machel Millwood (first team) and defender and captain P.J. Wakefield (second team), earned all-NISL honors.

Millwood and Sagu were joined on the first team by Monterrey La RaZa's Byron Alvarez, the Most Valuable Player; the Philadelphia KiXX's Pat Morris, the Defender of the Year; midfielder Ricardinho of Philadelphia; and defender Genoni Martinez of Monterrey.

Kelly was slightly miffed that the Blast defense was not recognized more. "I'd like to have seen some of our defenders on the first team," he said.

Voting is done by NISL coaches and general managers and members of the media.

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