The Baltimore Blast lost the MASL championshp in heartbreaking fashion. On Friday, they were edged by the Monterrey Flash 6-4 in a double overtime game at the Royal Farms Arena. Then they traveled to Monterrey and beat the Flash 6-4 yesterday (worth noting: the game in Baltimore featured multi-point goals and the game in Monterrey did not, because indoor soccer is weird like that), forcing a minigame to decide the title. Just when it looked like they were cooked as the clock wound down in the shorter match, holy shit, Lucas Roque scored a goal to tie it at 3-3 with two seconds left. On to another sudden-death overtime. Alas, it was the Flash who scored the title-clinching golden goal.
But it was a good show by the boys of Baltimore. I attended the game on Friday and streamed the Sunday games (the minigame is really more like an overtime period) through a computer at a friend's house. We were there to watch the ill-fated Maryland Terrapins game in the NCAA Tournament game, but I found myself continually drawn to the indoor soccer on the laptop off to the side. (You don't know how weird it is for this Maryland alum to type that sentence.)
Ever since writing about the team's winning ways a few weeks ago, I've followed along more like I would with the Orioles or Ravens. Probably not as close as that, but certainly more than I ever had before. And you know what? All that stuff about more shots, more goals, and fast action being more compelling is completely true. The wild, dramatic swings in this championship series were completely crazy and genuinely exciting to watch. Even my friends focusing their attention on the Terps, two of whom are ardent fans of traditional soccer, got caught up in the moment with Roque's goal.
To borrow a piece of market jargon, arena soccer is a "good product"—it's just that few people know it yet. I'm here to reiterate that it's pretty damn great; I'm already looking forward to next year. Jesus Christ. Have I become an indoor soccer evangelist? I guess so.