Baltimore Blast Honor Cooper, Stankovic, Savage
The stars aligned at the Baltimore Blast's Hall of Fame weekend. The Blast celebrated their 40th anniversary by honoring players from the last four decades. As part of the festivities, Kenny Cooper (Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011), Mike Stankovic (2013), and Bruce Savage (2014) were able to receive their awards in front of the fans who cheered them on during the majority of their careers. It is believed to be the first time all three men had been in Baltimore together since 1992.
Cooper was instrumental in moving the Houston Summit to Baltimore in 1980 and coached the Blast and Baltimore Spirit for 14 years, winning a championship in 1983-84. The MISL's all-time leader in wins was a two time Coach of the Year.
Stankovic was a member of the MISL's All-Decade Team in 1988 and played 15 of his 19 seasons in Baltimore, finishing with 305 career goals and 296 assists, making him one of the highest scoring defenders in indoor soccer history
Savage played his final seven seasons in Baltimore. The seven-time All-Star and three-time All-MISL 1st Team defender won the 1986-87 Defender of the Year Award.
Mike Stankovic also accepted Stan Stamenkovic's (2011) trophy on behalf of the late dazzling playmaker who died in 1996. Stankovic was a close friend of "The Magician" who was the 1983-84 MISL MVP and a three-time All-Star Game MVP.
“The players from the 80’s were my heroes and were like rock stars to many fans," said Blast General Manager Gianni Tumminello. "The bond created this weekend between the legends and current staff and players was unbelievable. Coach Cooper, Stankovic and Savage were very pleased to receive their awards and grateful for the support from Baltimore fans and the fans of indoor soccer.”
"I would like to thank Gianni, Blast owner Ed Hale, and the Baltimore Blast organization for bringing all these players, coaches, and staff together, and giving them the recognition they deserve, which means a lot to them, and means a lot to the fans," said Indoor Soccer Hall of Fame Director Sydney Nusinov.