The Kansas City Comets are eager to return to winning ways this weekend with a pair of games against Central Division foe Dallas Sidekicks. The action begins Friday as the Sidekicks make their second trip of the season to Kansas City.
MASL Regular Season- Matchday 17
Kansas City Comets vs Dallas Sidekicks
When: Friday, March 4, 7:00 p.m. CST
Where: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri
How To Watch: MASLtv
The Comets will make the return trip to Dallas on Sunday. The last time KC played in Dallas on a Sunday with a 3 p.m. kickoff was when they lost 5-2 in 2019.
MASL Regular Season- Matchday 18
Kansas City Comets @ Dallas Sidekicks
When: Sunday, March 6, 3:00 p.m. CST
Where: Credit Union of Texas Event Center, Allen, Texas
How To Watch: MASLtv
The Comets are coming from back-to-back losses for the first time this season. Both of those losses came last week in their trip to California.
Starting the season 6-0, the Comets suffered a loss in St. Louis before correcting the ship with a three-game winning streak. KC’s success was limited last month as they lost four of their last five throughout February.
The Comets (10-4-1; 32 points) still command the Central Division and can extend their eight-point lead over the second-place Sidekicks with a pair of wins. KC is 5-0-1 at home and 5-4 on the road this season.
This weekend could get interesting since it features the two teams averaging the most penalty minutes per game. KC’s showing last week now puts them at 11.3 penalty minutes per game, highest in the MASL. Dallas is second with 9.4 penalty minutes per game.
Players to Watch:
Lucas Sousa - Another impressive campaign in his second season. A crucial part of the midfield, Sousa has 20 points from 15 goals and five assists.
Rian Marques - Neck-and-neck with Sousa for a second straight season. The target forward has 20 points from 14 goals and six assists.
Leo Gibson - Missed last weekend to see the birth of his child. Still two goals shy of tying Wes Wade’s record for most goals in Kansas City indoor soccer history. Leads the team with 2.6 points per game and 19 goals. Second on the team with 31 points.
KC Injury Report
OUT: Absalom Solorio (right knee sprain); Christian Duke (left ankle); Mike Da-Silva (right quad strain)
PROBABLE: James Togbah (left abdominal strain); Nicolau Neto (left knee sprain)
Signing a couple of weeks ago, former Sporting KC II captain Christian Duke will have to wait for his Comets debut after picking up an injury.
John Sosa will also be out for Friday’s game as he serves a one-game penalty point accumulation suspension. That will be a big absence for the Comets as he leads the team in points with 32 from 11 goals and 21 assists. He also leads the team with 21 blocks.
Returning from suspension will be Ramone Palmer and Nick McDonald. Goalkeeper Nicolau Neto could return after missing the last five games through injury.
The Comets also picked up nine-year veteran Richard Schmermund in a trade with the St. Louis Ambush. A rare move within the MASL for the Comets, the 29-year-old defender will add valuable experience. The St. Louis native will add make his debut on Friday.
This season has been strange, yet successful for the Dallas Sidekicks. It took an 0-3 start to fire Pablo Da Silva as head coach in his first season. Taking over the coaching duties has been Ricardinho Cavalcante, who has led Dallas to the most wins they’ve had since 2014/15.
Despite scoring the least in the Central Division, the Sidekicks (8-7-1; 24 points) sit second in the division. Dallas is 2-4-1 on the road and 6-3 at home.
Dallas’ most impressive win of the season came when they beat the Florida Tropics 7-6 last month.
They’ve had some blowout wins and losses as well as some close wins and losses. The one thing they haven’t done this season: beat the Comets.
Dallas has lost all three meetings against Kansas City his season, getting outscored 24-11. Two of those losses came in Dallas before a loss in KC on Jan. 29.
Scoring on 55 percent of powerplays, Dallas is the second-best powerplay team in the MASL. They are also 58 percent on the penalty kill.
Players to Watch:
Jamie Lovegrove - A game-changing signing for Dallas, Lovegrove now leads the team with 28 points from 14 goals and 13 assists. Has recorded multiple points in eight of the last 10 games.
Luiz Moralez - The 19-year-old continues his stellar rookie season. Has recorded 25 points from a team-leading 18 goals and seven assists. Still yet to make his mark against KC as he has been held scoreless in the previous two meetings with KC.
Felipe De Sousa - Wasn’t his best start to the season, but the Florida Gulf Coast University product is coming off his first hat trick of the season. Enters this weekend with six goals and two assists in six games. Scored 11 goals in four games against KC last season.
DAL Injury Report
OUT: Julio Varela (hamstring); Oscar Romero (ankle)
Aside from the loss to Chihuahua last month, the Comets have been ruthless at home. They’ve especially been good against the Sidekicks the past two seasons. But that can change very quickly this weekend if they lose their discipline.
I think the Comets take both games from Dallas. KC wins the first game 9-5 and the second game 7-6.