The Kansas City Comets have returned for another year of Hot Winter Nights with the Major Arena Soccer League. This year, however, the MASL will be split in two conferences, with the Comets in the Eastern Conference.
Front Office and Coaching Changes
After a slow offseason, the Comets finally announced a restructured front office that was highlighted by former owner Brian Budzinski returning to the organization’s ownership group. Another interesting move was creating a Director of Community Engagement role, which will be filled by goalkeeper Mark Saxby. Their new offices will be at HyVee Arena, formerly known as Kemper Arena, which housed the Kansas City Comets/Attack from 1981-2005.
The Comets also locked down Silverstein Eyes Centers Arena for the next three years while they will continue training out of the KC SoccerDome.
It was also announced that the organization’s winningest manager, Kim Roentved, would not be returning. His shoes were recently filled by the announcement of legendary forward Leo Gibson being the team’s first player-manager. Gibson signed a three year deal through 2022. Gibson’s legendary playing career has seen him score the most, assist the most, play the most, and accumulate more points than any other player in franchise history. Gibson will select his technical staff consisting of an assistant coach, goalkeeper coach, and strength and conditioning coach.
Notable departures from last year’s team include James Togbah going to Utica City FC and Alain Matingou not being listed on the roster. After it was announced in an article on the Comets website that Bryan Perez had retired and was removed from the roster, the article has since been taken down and his name is back on the roster.
Signing new deals this offseason was Stefan Stokic, Lucas Rodriguez, and Robert Kelly, who appeared in just one match in his inaugural season with the Comets in a win in Mississauga.
The Comets did add some new signings. Recent Niagara University graduate, Hector ‘Moy’ Solorio. Solorio, the son of Comets superfan, drummer, and chant leader, recently played for Kaw Valley FC. A pair of Brazilian NAIA products signed, goalkeeper Nicolau Neto from Columbia College and Lucas Sousa, former Park University men’s soccer player and current assistant coach for Park’s women’s program. Sousa is now the seventh graduate of Park University on the Comets roster, following Robert Palmer, Ramone Palmer, Kiel Williams, Stefan Stokic, Nacho Flores, and Mirko Sandivari.
Key Home Games
St. Louis Ambush
Saturday, November 30; Friday, January 10; Sunday, March 22
6:05 CT; 7:05 PM CT; 3:05 PM CT
Home opener and rivalry games
Saturday, December 28
6:05 PM CT
Return of former goalkeeper and fan favorite Danny Waltman; former Comet Alex Megson also plays for Tacoma
Saturday, January 4; Friday, January 17; Friday, February 21
6:05 PM CT; 7:05 PM CT; 7:05 PM CT
Rivalry games and defending champions
Sunday, February 23
3:05 PM CT
Led by former MASL MVP Franck Tayou, who has scored 178 goals in previous three seasons; Former Comet Troy McKerrell also plays for Ontario.
With training camp starting earlier this week, season ticket holders will get the first chance to see them in an exhibition game as they take on the Wichita Wings on November 15th. The Comets kickoff the regular season away on November 22nd at the Cal Express. Their home opener will be the following week, on Saturday November 30th at 6:05 PM CT against the Ambush. All MASL games will be available to watch live on YouTube.