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Comets look to even series against Ambush with two new signings

Sunday’s annual Pink Game to benefit the Ally Kemp Foundation will be officiated by a familiar name to MLS fans, as Chris Penso will be the senior referee in his sixth season as an indoor referee.

Sinclair tackling Solorio in a previous meeting
Thad Bell

Kansas City Comets vs St. Louis Ambush

When: Sunday, February 16th, 2020 at 3:05 PM CT

Where: Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, Independence, Missouri

How to Watch/Stream: Masl.tv/YouTube

The Kansas City Comets will welcome the St. Louis Ambush into Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for the second time this season.

While the Comets will miss Matt Lewis, Ray Lee, and Ray Saari due to outdoor soccer commitments, the Ambush will be without this season’s St. Louis Comet-killer Tony Walls, who has departed for the USL Championship’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who will visit Sporting KC II on April 11th. Along with Tony Walls, the Ambush’s trio has been chopped down to two men with JT Thomas and Duduca Carvalho all adding 16 goals and eight assists in their 16 games this season.

Both teams enter Sunday’s matchup on a full weeks rest, as the Comets come from a weekend where they defeated the Harrisburg Heat. St. Louis is led by former Comet forwards Andre Braithwaite and Stefan St. Louis, and they also come from a a win over the Harrisburg Heat last weekend.

Sunday’s I-70 Series renewal will be the fourth of six this season, and the Ambush have won the two in St. Louis while KC has claimed the only one played at in Kansas City.

The fourth match between these two sides will be the first since the trade of Anthony Grant from KC to St. Louis in exchange for future considerations. Along with this trade, Hewerton Moreira’s side have also traded for former Wave defender Jonathan Santos.

Along with the irreplacable impact of Leo Gibson, Comets forward Kiel Williams (nine goals) will look to break his goal tally into double digits for the third consecutive season. John Sosa will look to control the flow of the game while Robert Palmer will look to add to his 12 points and 28 blocked shots with St. Louis defender Axel Duarte looking to do the same on the other end.

The Comets also announced the signing of Odaine Sinclair and Nick McDonald ahead of Sunday’s game. Both players featured in last weekend’s exhibition loss at the Wichita Wings, in which Ramone Palmer, Lucas Sousa, Mark Saxby, and Nicolau Neto (entered for an injured Mark Saxby in the fourth quarter) also saw action.

Sinclair returns to the Comets, where he was from 2016-2018, after spending most of this season with the Orlando SeaWolves before his release earlier this month. The Jamiacan will also be facing his former team, the Ambush, where he was named the 2014 MISL Rookie of the Year in his first of three seasons with St. Louis before signing with the Comets in 2016. McDonald, a graduate of Rockhurst University, also serves as an assistant coach for his alma mater after spending time as an assistant coach for Northern Michigan University.

The Comets certainly can’t afford to lose to another Eastern Conference playoff contender, as the Ambush sit in sixth place with an 8-8 record while the Comets sit seventh with a 7-7 record. Leo Gibson will look to add to his league-leading 43 points, which come from a 23 goals and 20 assists. The key to winning a game of such emotion is playing smart, avoiding unforced errors, and keeping calm heads, something they have struggled with majorly again this season.