Starting with a loss to the winless Rochester Lancers before an incredible comeback against one of MASL’s top teams, the Kansas City Comets had quite the weekend. This weekend’s results were especially surprising considering how often Rochester has been blown out this season and because KC’s third game in four days came against Utica City FC, who had a full week of rest while the shorthanded Comets were dealing with injuries and a suspension to their leading scorer.
Suffering a 9-7 loss on Saturday, the Lancers defeated the Comets to grab their first win of the season on the back of 50 year old coach/player Doug Miller, who played made his second appearance of the season since coming out of retirement for the fifth time.
After back-and-fourth opening half which saw goals from Leo Gibson and Ignacio Flores, the Lancers stretched their lead to four goals in the second half, a lead that they were able to hold on to despite two goals from Gui Gomes while John Sosa and Robert Palmer each added another in the fourth quarter.
The Comets entered the two-game trip to New York without Stefan Stokic, Kevin Ellis, and Odaine Sinclair, but Leo Gibson was added to the list of absentees for Sunday’s match in Utica after serving a one game suspension for a red card against Rochester. Goalkeeper Nicolau Neto did return aside from Lucas Rodriguez’s time as the sixth attacker.
The indoor soccer legend made history the previous night by becoming the first professional American soccer player to play in four decades in their 10-7 loss to the Florida Tropics.
The absence of Gibson and all the injuries meant only five available field players on the bench. Despite the very short roster, the Comets kept Utica to just four goals while Robert Palmer got KC’s lone goal at halftime. John Sosa got the Comets within two in the third period, but Utica City responded with two goals from Christian Segura and Moises Gonzalez.
Despite John Sosa’s early second half goal, Utica City FC stretched their lead to 6-2 until Adam James scored to start the late comeback with under four minutes left in the game. James was followed by four goals from Robert Palmer to send the game to overtime, as the Jamaican defender finished his fourth quarter hat trick with 19 seconds left.
The Comets found the winner after Gui Gomes blasted the ball past the keeper after John Sosa found the Brazilian for his ninth goal of the season with the sudden-death overtime winner.
This crazy 1-1 road trip in New York puts their overall record at 10-11 with a slight advantage over the seventh place St. Louis Ambush.
Along with Robert Palmer’s four goals on against Utica and one goal against the Lancers, which is now his career high of 14 goals, Palmer’s two blocks against Rochester is now the lone franchise record for most blocks in a season (45) after previously being tied with Ryan Junge, who he had a tie with at 43 blocks.
The Comets road trip will continue with two games next weekend in Florida against the 1-18 Orlando SeaWolves on Saturday before they face the first place Florida Tropics. Following that match the Comets will return home for the season finale against the St. Louis Ambush at SEC Arena.