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Baltimore’s indoor soccer club, the Baltimore Blast will return to league play in November, the club announced Wednesday.

The news comes after the Blast initially chose to sit out the 2021 season amid COVID-19 concerns. They were one of ten teams in the MASL to do so. “We are looking forward to playing,” club owner Ed Hale shared during Wednesday’s press conference in Timonium. With the exception of two clubs in Mexico, Hale expects that other Major Arena Soccer League clubs will also return to league play. A league meeting is scheduled for next month to confirm league alignment.

He also confirmed that the Blast will return to play at SECU Arena on Towson University’s campus. Team training is looking to begin on November 15th.

A focus on local soccer culture.

As I stood in today’s press conference, the team’s focus on Baltimore’s soccer community stood out to me. Hale spoke in depth about the Baltimore Blast’s impact on “advancing soccer in Maryland”. To help the club achieve this goal, they’ve been running soccer camps for local kids. Hale says that the children get the “best training they can get,” assuring that Blast athletes are some of the bests in the business.

Soccer, like many other sports, can be so many things. It can provide many opportunities for kids from all walks of life to secure college scholarships. I couldn’t help but see the vision and imagine the next soccer star coming from right here in Baltimore.

Welcome new head coach, David Bascome.

When the Blast return to the field they will have a new head coach on the sidelines, David Bascome. He’s an energetic and thorough leader whose passion for the game draws respect from many. Myself included.

Professionally, Bascome spent 17 years in the MASL and was the 14th player in league history to surpass the 1,000 goal mark.  He’s won multiple championships and was also a 5-time All-star. He now assumes the Head Coach role for the club after 14 years of serving as an assistant coach. “Bascome has been with us. I’m happy to have him with us, continuing the winning tradition that we have,” Hale said when introducing Bascome.

“I have to continue to keep the integrity of this franchise and also continue to create a high standard that has been set here from many players,” Bascome said when discussing his expectancies. “The culture at this organization has been so successful due to the players’ hard work. Not just on the field, but off the field. So as a coach, there are some things outside of winning that I have to make sure I accomplish.”

It was especially refreshing to hear the new Head Coach passionate about growing Baltimore’s soccer community. “It’s important that I also go and grab young players from our community,” Bascome said when discussing his roster.

More trophies. That’s the goal.

I share the same sentiments as Hale, Bascome, and the rest of the staff who are happy to have soccer back. We’ve all been masked up for over a year so honestly, I’m happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But as a fan of the Blast, I couldn’t be more excited. In my time here in Baltimore, I’ve enjoyed plenty of Blast games. It’s quite the experience and an even better memory as each game is better than the last. You’d be surprised how loud those games get. Sometimes, it felt like SECU Arena was literally shaking.

I’m a culture guy. Energy is my thing. The winning culture on the Blast is something that you take with you when you leave the games. The indoor-style play creates an energetic pace that gets even more exciting when we win.

In short, I’m looking forward to the return of the Blast. Ed Hale and staff have their eyes on another championship season. “We are gonna defend our titles,” Hale said Wednesday. “We’re gonna make sure that we’re out here doing the best we can to win our games.”

Now that’s good energy.