Kim Roentved’s phone was buzzing as he attempted to get off one call, while another was waiting on hold.
“It’s been like this for weeks,” said Roentved, who is back for his second term as head coach of the Kansas City Comets. “I’m busy, but I’m enjoying putting a team together – helping both on the field and in the front office.
“We have a lot of new faces on the team, some familiar faces, and I think we’re going to surprise some people. I like this team. I like it a lot, and I think after our fans see us Saturday night, they are going to like it, too.”
The Comets overcame offseason financial struggles and the loss of their ownership group, to rebound for their eighth season at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, where they will play host to the St. Louis Ambush at 7:05 tonight.
“The boys are excited, I’m excited – we’re all excited about Saturday,” said Roentved, who coached the team the first four seasons. “We’re all working hard, and to be honest, I wish we had a couple more weeks and an exhibition game or two, but we play Saturday and we’re going to put a team out there our fans are going to love.”
Midfielder Bryan Perez will be the captain this season and veteran defender Stefan Stokic will be an assistant captain.
“Bryan and Stefan have earned those roles,” Roentved said. “They are great team leaders.”
Arguably the most successful player in team history, former league scoring champ Leo Gibson, is back on the field and he will serve as Roentved’s assistant coach.
“Leo has said more in the past two weeks than he did in the previous seven years,” Roentved quipped. “I love Leo. Everyone loves Leo. He is such a special player and is going to fit in well as assistant coach. He is a quiet leader and all the guys look up to him.”
One promising newcomer is goalie Casey Gasson, who has been working with goalkeeper coach Alan Mayer the past few weeks.
“We really like Casey,” Roentved said. “He has quick hands and feet and Alan says he could be right up there with some of the other great goalies we’ve had in the past.”
COMETS ADD 3 MORE: The Comets continue to add new players to their roster. The team announced the signing of defender Odaine Sinclair, midfielder Tanner Hunjak and defender Alvaro Beltran on Friday.
Sinclair returns to the Comets for his second season. He played for the St. Louis Ambush for three seasons prior to joining the Comets fo the 2016-17 season. Originally breaking into the league as a forward, Sinclair has been converted to defense. Playing a mixture of forward and defense last season, Sinclair had six goals and three assists for the Comets.
Tanner Hunjak makes his return after being a member of the Comets’ original roster in 2010, when he played 17 games. Hunjak, the son of Comets legend “Scorin’” Goran Hunjak, played collegiately at MidAmerica Nazarene for three seasons. He scored 28 goals in 49 games for the Pioneers.
Alvaro “Alvi” Beltran is another MidAmerica Nazarene product. Playing defense for the Pioneers, Beltran scored a goal and had three assists in 23 games his senior season.