Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Baltimore Blast’ tag

January 15, 1988 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast

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Paul ChildLos Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast
January 15, 1988
The Forum
Attendance: 5,984

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
68 pages

 

This is a rare late-era program from the original Major Indoor Soccer League (1978-1992) featuring National Soccer Hall of Famer Paul Child on the cover.

The 1987-88 MISL season was the final year of Child’s 16-year playing career in the United States, where he excelled in both the outdoor and indoor games.  35 years old by this time and playing for his third indoor team in three winters, he finished out strong with a 40-goal camapaign for the Los Angeles Lazers.  The bulk of his indoor career was spent with the MISL’s Pittsburgh Spirit from 1981 to 1986.  The English-born Child still makes his home in the Steel City.

The best years of Child’s outdoor career were spent with the original San Jose Earthquakes of the NASL from 1974-1979.  He was one of the original Earthquakes stars and was honored with induction in the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in November 2013.  They made this cool video:

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

May 4th, 2014 at 1:42 am

April 28, 1985 – Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast

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Los Angeles Lazers vs. Baltimore Blast
MISL Quarterfinal Playoffs, Game 3
April 28, 1985
The Forum
Attendance: 4,673

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
60 pages

 

This is yet another pull from the huge collection of Los Angeles Lazers indoor soccer programs we picked up from a California sports museum earlier this month.  The third and final match of a best-of-five Major Indoor Soccer League quarterfinal playoff series between the Lazers and the defending champion Baltimore Blast at the Fabulous Forum.

Dave MacWilliams of the Blast was pictured on the cover of the Missile Magazine game program for this game and the choice was prophetic.  MacWilliams was the MISL’s leading American-born scorer during the 194-85 season and he netted a hat trick against the Lazers here in Game 3 to spark Baltimore to 5-4 win and a sweep of the best-of-five series.

Another notable player in this game was ,the Lazers’ 23-year old rookie goalkeeper Tim Harris, who drew the start for this win-or-go-home elimination match.  Harris was born in nearby Torrance and played collegiately at UCLA.  He earned one cap for the U.S. National Team in 1985, but he had the misfortune to come into pro soccer during a particularly grim period for the American game, just as the outdoor North American Soccer League was drawing its final breaths.  Harris played for five seasons, including three with the Lazers from 1984 to 1987.  During that time there was no national outdoor league and American players were not in demand overseas.  Indoor soccer was basically the only professional option for American players born in the early 1960’s like Harris.

The Lazers went out of business in 1989.  Several years later the club’s former owner, the late Dr. Jerry Buss, hired Harris to work in the front office for his NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.  Today Harris is the Chief Operating Officer of the Lakers.

 

 

==Downloads==

April 28, 1985 Baltimore Blast Roster

April 28, 1985 Los Angeles Lazers Roster

 

==Links==

Los Angeles Lazers Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

February 27th, 2014 at 12:26 am

April 15, 1984 – Cleveland Force vs. Baltimore Blast

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Cleveland Force vs. Baltimore Blast
April 15, 1984
The Richfield Coliseum
Attendance: 18,267

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs
124 pages

 

This late season Major Indoor Soccer League match between Eastern Division rivals the Cleveland Force and Baltimore Blast drew a huge Sunday night crowd of 18,267 to the old Richfield Coliseum.  Hard to believe today, but the sport of indoor soccer really was a huge draw in a handful of cities in the early 1980’s.  The 1983-84 season was the year that attendance for the Cleveland Force really exploded.  The team averaged 13,675 per match and outdrew their Richfield Coliseum co-tenant – NBA’s sad sack Cleveland Cavaliers – by 120,000 fans.

With that kind of atmosphere the Force were tough to beat at home.  They went 18-6 at the Coliseum en route to a 31-17 record in 1983-84.  The Force featured two of the top three scorers in the league in Kai Haaskivi and Craig Allen.  But the Baltimore Blast were even better.  Captain Dave MacWilliams (pictured on the night’s game program) led the Blast to a league-best 34-14 record.  Serbian forwardStan Stamenkovic nudged out Allen and Haaskivi for the league scoring title.

The Blast would frustrate the Force and the big crowd on this night, as they would all season.  The Force got on the board first on a Peter Millar goal and outshot the visitors 29-16.  But the Blast made their shots count, with goals from cover boy MacWilliams, Stamenkovic and Pat Ercoli to eke out a 3-2 victory.

The teams would meet again a month later in the MISL playoff semi-finals with the Blast sweeping the Force in a best-of-five series.  It was the second of five straight seasons from 1983 to 1987 that the Force went deep into the playoffs, only to be eliminated in the semi-final series (three times at the hands of Baltimore).   The Blast, meanwhile, went on to win their first and only MISL championship in the spring of 1984, defeating the St. Louis Steamers in the finals.

 

==Links==

Cleveland Force Home Page

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Written by andycrossley

October 22nd, 2012 at 11:56 pm