MASL Regular Season- Matchday 6
Kansas City Comets vs San Diego Sockers
When: Friday, Jan. 29, 7:05 p.m. CST
Where: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri
How to Watch: Single Game Pass or Regular Season Pass
Looking to break a four-game losing streak, the Kansas City Comets will welcome the San Diego Sockers for a rare meeting.
The Comets enter Friday’s matchup with a misleading 1-4 record in which three of their losses involved KC blowing a three-goal lead to lose by one score. Kansas City’s most recent defeat came last Friday against the Tacoma Stars.
KC acquired Baltimore Blast forward Mike DaSilva earlier this week through a season-long loan. DaSilva, while inexperienced with just 13 appearances in two seasons, will be another big presence at 6’2”.
KC is led in scoring by the rookie duo of Lucas Sousa and Rian Marques, who each have four goals. Leo Gibson and Sousa are the joint-leader in points with eight points each. The Comets are also hopeful that Kevin Ellis will return to the lineup after missing the last three matches with an injury.
The Comets have won both of the previous two matches against the Sockers. The first one came in a 10-7 win at home in December 2014 and the second one came in a 7-6 road win in January of 2017.
San Diego Sockers
The San Diego Sockers are among the legendary indoor soccer franchises around. This is their third stint in arena soccer, starting back up in 2009 following previous stints from 1978-1996 and again from 2001-2004. They’ve won 14 championships in all, however, they haven’t won one since their 2013 PASL title.
The Sockers are led by Phil Salvagio, who is entering his 12th season in charge of the Sockers and is the longest-serving head coach in the MASL. Salvagio and the Sockers are coming off a 2019/20 season where they finished second in the West with a 15-6 record.
San Diego is stacked with five players that were represented at the MASL All-Star Game in December. Among them are midfielders Gordy Gurson and Slavisa Ubiparipovic, as well as goal-scoring machine Kraig Chiles, who scored a career-low of 22 goals last season.
Friday will also mark the homecoming for three former Comets. Former defender Guerrero Pino will make his return to Kansas City after he made 40 regular season appearances in his two seasons with the Comets in 2016/17 and 2017/18. Pino will be joined by former Kansas City Wizards and Comets keeper Boris Pardo. Pardo never appeared for the Wizards, but he did make 28 regular season appearances for the Comets across four seasons, including 19 appearances in 2015/16. Lastly, Travis Pittman will return to KC. Pittman made three appearances for the Missouri Comets in 2015/16.
Similar to KC’s addition of DaSilva, the Sockers made two additions to their roster through loans. They added Milwaukee Wave defender Marcio Leite and Baltimore Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela. Both of them have been among the best in the MASL for years and will be key additions to help them contend for a championship.
There is no hiding that the Sockers are the better team on paper. The main concern for them is that this will be their first game in 327 days with a couple of new pieces while the Comets are getting arguably their best player back from injury.
For my final prediction, I am going to predict a 6-5 Comets win. KC is in dire need of a win and a healthy Kevin Ellis will help that. They’ve proven they can hang with the best in the league. They will prove that once again if they can clean up their mistakes and take their chances.