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Soccer
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
The Long Wait is Almost Over for Blast Return

Picture courtesy Kevin Richardson - Baltimore Sun
IslandStats.com
For Baltimore Blast first-year coach David Bascome, a longtime assistant to former coach Danny Kelly, the team’s return to the field comes with a delicate balance.

For the past 15 seasons, the Blast were the most stable and successful professional indoor soccer franchise around — winners of six league titles and the runner-up in four other championship series.

But when the Blast opened practice earlier this month for the first time in nearly 18 months after their 2020-21 season was canceled, the 51-year-old Bermuda native began to put his own stamp on the team’s future.

“Being able to build confidence with the players is the first thing,” Bascome said. “To be able to get them to commit to change — because change has come — changing a climate, changing a culture. Taking the template that was built and enhancing that template, kind of filtering it. Culture shift was a need, getting players to connect.”

As the Blast prepares for the 2021-22 Major Arena Soccer League season — the 40th year of professional indoor soccer in Baltimore — the time they’ve put in together has been different. Training sessions include more classroom time and what is learned is executed in practice.

Postpractice meals are occasionally served with Bascome dishing out his homemade Cajun chicken with rice. For Tuesday practices, Blast fans are welcome to attend with a chance to talk to the players after their work is done.

It’s business, but with a family vibe.

“Now what’s happening is just like you loved the game before, but if I make it with a sustained culture, it’s like, ‘Wow, I want to come to work,’” Bascome said. “It’s not just about winning a championship. It’s about building a family and building relationships because it will show on the field when things get tough.”
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