After a four-year drought, the Baltimore Blast will once again compete for a Major Arena Soccer League championship.
Baltimore will face Chihuahua Savage in a best-of-three series starting April 27 at Corner Sport Arena in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Due to scheduling conflicts at SECU Arena, the series will be played entirely at Chihuahua’s home arena. The games will be held April 27 and April 28, with kickoff at 10 p.m. If the teams split the first two games, a 15-minute knockout game will be played immediately following Game 2. A tie after 15 minutes will result in 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods until a champion is crowned.
The Blast booked its first trip to the Ron Newman Cup Finals since 2017-18 this past weekend, sweeping the Milwaukee Wave in the Eastern Conference Finals.
After struggling midseason as the team coped with injuries on defense, Baltimore didn’t panic when it sat in fourth place in the Eastern Conference in mid-February. The Blast finished the regular season strong, winning five of seven to lock up the No. 2 seed.
“Everything comes in time,” said head coach David Bascome, who is making his first championship appearance since taking over in 2020. Bascome won three titles as a Blast player and five more as an assistant coach.
His team’s ability to adapt and execute his philosophy has helped the squad peak at the right time, Bascome said. It also helped that several key defensive players who were injured have returned for the playoffs, including Jereme Raley, Mike Deasal and Onua Obasi.
“When shifting players’ mental and physical [focus] to new changes it is important that as a coach we stay on track and not get [overly] concerned when results do not happen,” Bascome said.
The team had already bought into his philosophy last season, he said.
“This was more of identifying our system’s execution and having the ability to process it more consistently,” Bascome said.
This is Baltimore’s 19th indoor soccer championship appearance and fifth since the MASL formed in 2014-15. The Blast will be seeking their fourth MASL title and 11th overall.