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Comets Earn Blowout Win in MASL Debut

The Missouri Comets opened up the brand new MASL with a blowout win over former PASL powerhouse, the Dallas Sidekicks. Leo Gibson scored four goals while captain Vahid Assadpour notched a hat trick as altogether seven different players scored for the Comets in their 13-4 victory.

When the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) schedule was being constructed, a match up between the 2014 MISL Champion Missouri Comets and PASL powerhouse Dallas Sidekicks was immediately penciled in as the perfect game to open the newly formed league. Pitting two of the strongest teams from the MISL and the PASL seemed like it would be a great showcase of indoor soccer. Instead it did more to illustrate the vast differences between the two former rival leagues.

The Missouri Comets needed less than four minutes to tally their first score. Vahid Assadpour collected a pass from Bryan Perez and beat long-time indoor soccer veteran Sagu for the 1-0 lead. Alain Matingou scored his first professional goal only three minutes later before Brian Harris notched his first tally of the season to close out the first quarter. Playing a single-point scoring system this year, the Comets held a 3-0 lead at the first break.

The Comets poured on more scoring in the second quarter with run of play goals from Leo Gibson and Coady Andrews. Gibson added a second goal in the period after taking advantage of another rule change for the 2014-2015 season.

Instead of gaining an immediate two-minute advantage after Sidekicks player Angel Rivillo elbowed John Sosa in the face, the Comets were given a shootout opportunity. Leo Gibson was given a free chance to dribble in on Sagu from the top of the arc and try to score. If his chance did not convert, the Comets would play out the two minute penalty with a man advantage. However, given a free shot, Gibson does not miss often and easily converted three such shootout goals on the night.

Dallas was able to sneak out two goals in the period, but there was no doubt which team controlled play as they headed into the locker rooms at halftime. The Comets were easily in control with a 6-2 lead at the break.

The second half was not much better for Dallas. Missouri put their players on a quick rotation, getting considerable playing time for every player along their bench. Strategically they alternated between high-pressure attacks and falling into a defensive shell. It didn't matter who was on the floor or what tactics they used, the Comets were dictating play.

In addition to two Gibson shootout goals, Assadpour scored his second of the night and Andre Braithwaite opened his account in the third quarter.

Assadpour completed his hat trick late in the final frame after Milan Ivanovic joined the scoring party earlier in the quarter. Dallas' Cameron Brown and Shaun David each scored in the second half, but the Sidekicks were never a threat to the Comets as the defending MISL champs won 13-4. Their score represents the most goals ever scored against the Dallas Sidekicks franchise.

The Comets next challenge is a trip to the defending PASL champions, the Chicago Mustangs, on November 8th at 7:00p.m. CT. While the Sidekicks had not lost at home until tonight, the Mustangs did not lose at all last season, going undefeated all the way through the title game in March.