The Missouri Comets, hot off two road wins to open the inaugural 2014-15 Major Arena Soccer League season, face a familiar rival at 7 p.m. Saturday when the Milwaukee Wave visit the Independence Events Center.
The last time the former MISL rivals met, the Comets defeated the Wave in a three-game semifinal series en route to claiming the final MISL championship crown.
“That seems like such a long time ago,” said team captain Vahid Assadpour, who has nine points (five goals, four assists) in the 13-4 win at Dallas and 12-6 triumph at Chicago earlier this season.
“We’re all excited about being a new league and coming home and playing in front of our great fans. We know the opener is going to special, and a win over the Wave would make it even more special.”
Most of the familiar names are back with the Comets as veteran goalie Danny Waltman will be in the net and last season’s MISL scoring champion, Leo Gibson, will be leading the way offensively for the Comets.
He leads the new MASL with 10 points (seven goals, three assists).
Headlining the Comets’ defense will be Brian Harris, the MVP from last year’s MISL championship series against the Baltimore Blast.
“We can’t wait for the home opener,” Harris said. “It’s been such a great time to be a Kansas City sports fan. With the Royals making the World Series and the Chiefs playing great ball and all the excitement about the Mavericks joining a new league (ECHL), and now, we’re back playing and we’re off to a great start and we want to keep that streak alive against Milwaukee.”
Comets coach Vlatko Andonovski recently signed a three-year contract extension after leading both the Comets and National Women’s Soccer League’s FC Kansas City to their first championships in a five-month span.
“A lot of champions in Kansas City, that’s for sure,” said Harris, who coaches youth soccer teams in Blue Springs in the off-season. “We’re proud to be a part of the MASL and hope to have the same success we had last year in the MISL.
“We have so many of our key players back and Vlatko is a great coach. We think it’s going to be an exciting season, and playing in that first home game makes it even more special.”