This was the match that many fans were interested in as soon as they saw the schedule for the newly formed MASL. When the teams from the MISL and PASL joined together to form the MASL, there was a lot of talk about quality and style and it appeared the league was giving the fans the perfect match to determine which former league was better. The MISL champion Comets were playing at the PASL champion Mustangs in what fans of both leagues thought would be validation of their teams.
Prior to the match between the Missouri Comets and the Chicago Mustangs, even the league and the teams labeled it the "Clash of Champions". The Comets had already easily destroyed the Dallas Sidekicks 13-4 in the league opening match. While Dallas was a good PASL team the season before with no losses at home, they were missing some players and were not the level of the PASL champion Mustangs.
The Comets played their game against Chicago, relentless and organized pressure on both ends created early opportunities and the visitors quickly took the lead 2-0 before a mistake allowed the Mustangs to pull one back. After allowing a couple more chanced the Comets tightened it down and ended the quarter up 3-1.
Chicago had been the team to relentlessly pressure teams to exhaustion last season and seemed to be at a loss to respond initially. The Comets took advantage of the momentum scoring three more before half and three more early in the third to have a 9-1 lead at one point.
While it looked grim for Chicago, they did not give up and pulled two quick goals before the Comets scored again to end the third.
The success in the third had evened the momentum and the fourth was relatively even with Chicago scoring three times and the Comets adding a pair to finish 12-6.
"I think it was a very good game," Comets head Coach Vlatko Andonovski explained after the match. "Chicago surprised us a little bit with their pace and the quality of the players they had."
"We bounced right up after the first few minutes and managed to score a goal and then control a bit of the pace through the first two or three quarters," Andonovski continued. "But they got the momentum at one point that I wouldn't say scared us a bit but we did do a good job closing the game down and getting the W."
Did the "Clash of Champions" aspect add to the intensity? "No," according to Andonovski. "but it is good that we got a win and at the same time represent the old MISL. That was one of the questions with the meeting of the MISL and PASL champions."
Chicago assistant coach Daryl Dourado agreed that is was not the hype adding any pressure. "We more saw it as we were going to play a quality team. We take each team as each team and see where it goes."
"Kansas City did play very well," Dourado continued. "We were taken by surprise at first but we tried to bounce back, come back and we are looking forward to playing them again. It was a very respectful game and very high quality, high level of play. Both teams had an eye-opener at the true level of play that is now in the MASL."
The Comets are now 2-0 with 25 goals in two games. They return home to face old rival Milwaukee Wave November 15th.