To fans of the Missouri Comets, defender Brian Harris is the MVP of the 2014 MISL Championship Series. A high-scoring defender, he put the winning goal in the back of the net to claim his first postseason honor.

To youngsters who play on his Impact Soccer KC soccer teams in Blue Springs, he’s “coach,” “goofy,” “funny” or “the best.” He takes a serious, yet light-hearted approach to coaching kids, and the impact of his presence in Eastern Jackson County is already being felt as he has players from Independence, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Grain Valley and Oak Grove on his squads. When his kids aren’t laughing alongside their coach, they are learning about soccer and life lessons they can take with them into adulthood.

After a recent practice session, he took some time to talk about this past championship season with the Comets and his plans for Impact Soccer KC.

Q: What’s it like being a champion and earning the MVP award of the championship series?

A: “From the start of this season, I felt like this team had the desire and will it took to win a championship. Through the season, we worked hard as a collective group towards making it to, and then winning the championship. Then, realizing we had done it, and being able to hoist the trophy over our head after the game was an amazing feeling every kid, including me, from the time they start playing soccer, dream of. Being named MVP was a true honor. I’ve always dreamed of making the difference in those final moments for my team. In this championship series I was able to do just that.”

Q: Tell us about Impact Soccer

A: “Impact Soccer KC’s mission is to not only to develop better athletes, but better people. I want to create an environment where kids enjoy learning, where they learn sportsmanship and compete as a team. Our sideline will be one that supports, encourages and reinforces this culture. Together we will positively IMPACT our children’s lives. Impact Soccer KC is going to be a fun but challenging environment.”

Q: What is your coaching philosophy with young players?

A: “In my coaching philosophy I focus on setting goals, including using soccer to teach and prepare children for what they will encounter in life, teaching them to have fun, teaching them the technical skills and to build a successful environment. I want our children to learn life lessons from the sport, such as learning from each practice and each game. Children will be able to overcome obstacles, be able to learn from mistakes, believe in themselves and have confidence to accomplish new adventures in life. Teach children to honor the sport and to be first class in sportsmanship on and off the field.”

Q: Why do you think it is important to give back to the community?

A: “For me this is so important because the Comets have dedicated fans that support us night after night at our games whether we win or lose. It is great getting to build relationships within the community. Being a part of an amazing foundation, meeting standout members of the community and getting to be a role model in kids’ lives is such an amazing part of playing and coaching soccer.”

Q: How excited are you about the upcoming season in the new Professional Arena Soccer League (which took in teams from the defunct MISL)?”

A: “I am very excited for the new league! I can’t wait to play new PASL teams, to visit new locations and for new teams to see our amazing arena and the best indoor soccer fans! I’m looking forward to bringing back some old rivalries and creating new ones.”

– Bill Althaus