The Kansas City Comets announced that midfielder Lucas Rodriguez has retired from professional arena soccer after nine seasons with the Comets on Wednesday.
Rodriguez, one of the original Missouri Comets, played nine seasons with the organization, won the 2014 MISL Championship and was named the 2011 MISL Rookie of the year.
Did not expect this, he's going to be missed by the Comets, had a great career for the MO Comets/KC Comets III, 2nd all time in appearances (181 league, 206 w/ playoffs), 3rd all time in goals (114, 120), 5th all time in assists (76, 85). https://t.co/sC2hF0PTU8— Mike (@downthebyline) December 16, 2020
Before his professional career, the Buenos, Aires, Argentina native split his collegiate career with Johnson County Community College and MidAmerica Nazarene and spent time with the Kansas City Brass before turning pro and joining NSC Minnesota (now Minnesota United) of the NASL and later the Missouri Comets ahead of their inaugural 2010/11 season.
Rodriguez left the Comets following their MISL Championship in 2014 to play for NASL’s Jacksonville Armada but returned in 2015/16 to play another five seasons in Kansas City.
Rodriguez played a total of 206 games for the Comets and tallied 120 goals and 85 assists throughout his Comets career. Statistically, his best season came in 2013/14, when he scored 15 goals and recorded 15 assists to bring Kansas City its first indoor soccer championship since the Kansas City Attack won the NPSL championship in 1996/1997.
In the opening game of the season last weekend, without Rodriguez, the Comets won emphatically over the Dallas Sidekicks.
As things stand now, the Comets are without Lucas Rodriguez, Stefan Stokic, Robert Palmer, and Kiel Williams for this season. Williams signed with the Florida Tropics as a free agent. Unless Stokic returns, Leo Gibson will be the only player still playing for the franchise that was apart of their inaugural season on 2010/11. Additionally, Rodriguez’s retirement comes one season after longtime Comet midfielder Bryan Perez moved to Wichita.
Kansas City’s only midfielder with multiple years of experience in the MASL is now Ignacio Flores, but Lucas Sousa has high expectations for his rookie campaign and I would expect Kevin Ellis to pick up some minutes in that role as well this season with Hector Solorio and Henry Ramirez helping out as well.
Still, it is going to be difficult to replace the experience of a player like Lucas Rodriguez.