Harrisburg Hosts San Diego Friday, Baltimore Sunday
The Harrisburg Heat of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) are home once again this weekend with two games against iconic franchises in arena soccer. On Friday, the San Diego Sockers come to the Farm Show Arena with game time being 7:35 P.M. On Sunday, the Heat play the Baltimore Blast with kick off being 5:05 P.M. The Harrisburg Heat with a record of 7-3 are currently in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference. The top four teams advance to the playoffs. Both games can be viewed on line at masltv.com.
The San Diego Sockers have a record of 8-1 and are riding an eight game winning streak. They are led by all league players including Kraig Chiles, Brandon Escoto, Slavisa Ubiparipovic and Boris Pardo. The Sockers’ coach Phil Salvagio was named coach of the year last season in the MASL. The Baltimore Blast have won three of the last four titles in the MASL. They were defeated in the playoffs last year by the Milwaukee Wave in the Eastern Conference finals. They also have several all league performers including Tony Donatelli, Jonatas Melo, Vini Dantas, Adriano dos Santos and William Vanzela. The Blast are coached by a former Heat player, Danny Kelly.
The Heat are looking to continue the progress they made during the 2018/2019 season. With Head Coach Pat Healey at the helm, the Heat increased their wins by 83% last year as they finished with a 11-13 record. There was also significant improvement during the season last year as the Heat began with a 1-7 record in the first eight games of the year. Over the final sixteen games, the Heat won 10 games including two wins over the Baltimore Blast and wins against Utica City FC and the Milwaukee Wave. Milwaukee was the 2018/2019 champions of the Major Arena Soccer League and Baltimore and Utica were play-off teams last season.
The Heat have the leading goal scorer in the Eastern Conference. Dom Francis has scored nineteen goals this season. Elton de Oliveira is third in the MASL with twenty two blocked shots. JJ Gibson and Daniel Villela lead the team in assists with nine and eight respectively. In goal, William Banahene was named to the MASL Team of the Week last week. He has an outstanding goals against average of 2.89. The Heat are also excelling in their specialty team play. They are third in the Eastern Conference in power play offense and first in the league in power play defense.