Who: Kansas City Comets vs Monterrey Flash
When: Thursday, December 29 — 7:05 p.m.
Where: Cable Dahmer Arena - Independence, Missouri
Watch: Local TV - 38 The Spot, Stream - Twitch
The Kansas City Comets (3-2-1) host the Monterrey Flash (2-1-0) Thursday evening at Cable Dahmer Arena. Kickoff is at 7:05 p.m. in the second meeting of these two teams. The two last met in Monterrey in 2015, a Comets overtime win. The Flash went on hiatus during the pandemic but are back with a talented and experienced team.
The Flash have five and the Comets three still on their respective rosters that played in the 2015 game. Kansas City’s player/coach Leo Gibson, John Sosa, and Ramone Palmer.
Monterrey is stocked with talented veterans from indoor and outdoor. Here are a few examples:
Daniel “Speedy Gonzales” Villela – has played several years in MASL and represented his country on the Mexican Arena National Team
Luis Ángel “ Quick” Mendoza – played over a dedcade on Liga MX with clubs like Tijuana, Tigres, America
Brayan Aguilar – played 90 games in MASL with 88 goals and 56 assists.
Walter AyovÍ - played for a several teams in Ecuador and in Liga MX with Monterrey, Pachuca as well as over 120 caps with the Ecuadorian National Team.
Edgar “Chapa” Flores – another experienced indoor player with 74 goals, 60 assists in 94 games.
Erick Tovar – six seasons of indoor and also outdoor in Mexico. He brings 74 games of MASL experience with 63 goals and 29 assists.
Israel Jiménez – Played for the Mexican National Team including a Gold Medal from the 2012 Olympics. Has over 200 Liga MX games under his belt.
Anselmo “Juninho” Vendrechovski – Brazilian center back that is listed as out injured but has over 300 games with Tigres.
The Flash started the season with a 2-1 loss to Mesquite, then a 10-3 blow out of Tacoma before a tight overtime 8-7 over Chihuahua on December 16th.
“Monterrey have played a few games but they’re a really good team and very experienced, kind of like Chihuahua last season,” Comets head coach Leo Gibson told The Blue Testament. “They started off slowly and then they started gelling and became a team to reckon with.”
With Monterrey coming back into the league, Gibson is not overlooking them at all. “Regardless of them being the first year back in the league, they have great players so it’s going to be a challenge. They’re smart, they are older but they they’re a bunch of smart intelligent players. We have a bunch of young guys. If they can just play to their full potential, I think we should be able to do good.”
The Comets have already played six matches and by the end of the weekend will have a full third of their season with eight games played. Some teams will have as few as three games played in that same time. Kansas City’s first six games were played over three weekends in back-to-back games with travel involved so it has not been east for Gibson’s squad.
The Comets are also struggling with injuries and visa issues forcing several of the best players to miss a significant portion of the season already. With player status still unknown midweek, the Comets could have as few as three defenders available.
One bright spot for Kansas City is they did get a break over Christmas with a long break by Comets standards. With their last match a comfortable 7-4 win over St. Louis on December 17th, the Comets enjoyed a twelve-day break.
Gibson gave his team some time off to enjoy the holiday with their families, and to hopefully get healthy.
When the Comets came back to training, they worked on improving themselves more than focusing on their opponents. “We mainly focus on us, what we want to be better at, continuing to be sharp, have good quality, good energy, that’s mostly our focus,” Gibson explained. ”Maybe a little percent of the other teams, especially if you have back-to-back. At the end of day, when you have these two games, a day in between, there’s good thing, we played St, Louis quite a few times, that’s helpful. If it was any other team, we haven’t played, then that’s a whole different challenge. We’ve been focusing on ourselves and discussing how we can play against the other teams.”
After the Monterrey clash, the Comets get a day to recover before traveling across the state to visit the St. Louis Ambush on New Year’s Eve.
Additional resource – The Blue Turf podcast discussing the next two games for Kansas City.