MASL Regular Season- Matchday 19
Kansas City Comets vs Milwaukee Wave
When: Friday, March 11, 7:00 p.m. CST
Where: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri
How To Watch: MASLtv
All eyes will be focused on Cable Dahmer Arena for an intriguing matchup between the Kansas City Comets and the Milwaukee Wave on Friday, March 11. The Comets will also honor the 30-year anniversary of the Kansas City Attack.
Friday’s KC Attack anniversary will see the Comets sporting throwback Attack jerseys. The Comets will also unveil a new banner recognizing the Attack’s NPSL championships won in 1993 and 1997 under head coaches Zoran Savic and Jim Schwab.
The Comets haven’t been great in recent weeks, winning just two of their last seven. Both of those wins have come at home. KC’s most recent win came last week, beating the Dallas Sidekicks 13-6. They followed it up with another road loss, this time 8-3 in Dallas.
Goalkeeper Nicolau Neto recorded his 19th career win in last Friday’s win over Dallas, becoming KC’s all-time wins leader in the MASL. The Brazilian was previously level on 18 wins with Danny Waltman and Stephen Patterson.
The Comets (11-5-1; 35 points) sit atop the Central Division eight points clear of Dallas (9-8-1; 27 points). With six games remaining, the Comets are aiming to re-launch the 6-0 form they began the season with ahead of the playoffs.
Players to Watch:
Leo Gibson - The goals have dried up a bit for the Comets player-coach, scoring two goals in five games since the start of February. Leads the team with 35 points from 20 goals and 15 assists. Sits one goal shy of Attack/Comets legend Wes Wade’s 280-goal record for most goals in Kansas City indoor soccer history.
Lucas Sousa - The reigning Rookie of the Year has improved from last season. The Park alum has increased from 1.5 points per game last season to 1.7 this season and scored on 17 percent of shots last season to 26 percent this season.
Lesia Thetsane - Putting together a stronger case for Rookie of the Year, though it will be tough to catch up with Dallas’ Luiz Morales. Now up to 18 points from 10 goals and eight points. With seven points last week, the defender was awarded by being named MASL Week 14 Offensive Player of the Week.
The club also announced the signing of 20-year-old midfielder Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Alonso to a one-year contract. He could make his debut alongside former Sporting KC II captain Christian Duke this weekend.
MASL rivalries don’t get much bigger than Comets-Wave. The last two meetings were especially heated, resulting in a five-game suspension for Milwaukee’s Derek Huffman for spitting on Neto. The Wave won on Feb. 19 in Milwaukee before the Comets ran away for the 11-4 win on Feb. 20 in KC.
The Comets have overturned the struggles they had with the Wave since 2017 to now lead the season series 3-1.
In the middle of a fierce playoff race sits the Milwaukee Wave.
A slow start to the season quickly removed Milwaukee from the Central Division leaderboard. Piecing things together for a little bit, the Wave have once again gone astray as they enter Friday having lost four straight.
Milwaukee’s playoff case was not helped with a pair of 9-8 losses last week to the St. Louis Ambush and the Florida Tropics. Both single-goal losses came in regular time as a late comeback attempt fell short after blowing two-goal leads in both losses.
While sitting last in the division, the Wave (6-10-1) enter Friday’s matchup in the hunt for a wild card spot. They are on the outside looking in, trailing the Ambush by three points with a game in hand.
MKE enters Friday 52 percent on both the power play and penalty kill.
Players to Watch:
Luan Oliveira - The veteran midfielder was MKE’s bright spot last week, contributing six points with five goals in two games. Season total is now 21 points from 19 goals and nine assists.
Stuart Grable - Tied with Dallas’ Mike Jones for a league-leading 27 blocks, including a career-high five blocks last time against KC. While not a big producer on offense, Grable is one point shy of tying a career-high of nine points in a season.
Ian Bennett - Reigning MASL MVP is at his best when playing the Comets, scoring in over 30 straight matchups with KC. Previously scoring 10 hat tricks in KC, Bennett has been held to just two goals in two games at Cable Dahmer Arena this season. League-leader in points per game (2.6), points (44) and goals (35).
MKE Availability Report
OUT: Daniel Chamale (Achilles); Andrew Wiedabach (left knee mcl); Alex Bradley (left knee, left thumb); Andre Hayne (right knee mcl)
QUESTIONABLE: Marcio Leite (hamstring); Daniel Mattos (left quad)
PROBABLE: Luan Oliveira (hamstring); Jonnathan Pachar (patellar tendonitis); Mario Alvarez (foot)
SUSPENDED: Derek Huffman (spitting on opponent)
Milwaukee’s availability troubles continue this week with a minimum of five players missing through injury and suspension.
The good news for the Comets is that they have been good at home, sitting with a 6-0-1 record at CDA. In those seven games, KC has outscored their opponents 68-32. But can they get it done with such a wounded team?
This game will come down to which team can keep their heads. Not exactly a category of strength for Kansas City. I predict a 10-6 for the Comets.