Kansas City Comets coach Kim Roentved and forward Leo Gibson agree that team’s practices are going well.
They also agree the Comets’ games are not going as well.
Indeed, the Comets are 2-8 (third in the Major Arena Soccer League Central Division) and have lost five straight, including two losses over the weekend. First, they fell to Baltimore 5-3 Saturday night at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. They then lost to Milwaukee 6-4 Sunday night at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
“When we come to (games), guys are still trying to find their momentum and how to switch it on from the beginning,” Gibson said. “I think it’ll get better, it’s sad to say, as the season goes forward, because we all want things to be better now,” Gibson said after the Baltimore loss. “But I think the future (looks) good.”
Baltimore found a way to “switch it on” during the first half, building a 5-1 lead by halftime. The Blast led 2-1 after one quarter, then added three second-quarter goals.
“We have had a couple of good practices – a couple of good weeks of practice, I should say I really thought we were there,” Roentved said. “And then, we go out there and kind of dig (ourselves) in a hole in the first 30 minutes. That was not part of the game plan.”
After yielding a goal to Kansas City forward Keil Williams at 10:21 in the first quarter, the Blast kept the Comets scoreless until late in the fourth quarter. Blast coach Danny Kelly credited that in part to goalkeeper William Vanzela.
“He’s an unbelievable goalkeeper,” Kelly said. “And we knew they were going to put us under pressure in the second half because they had to.”
Added Kelly: “Especially when they went with a sixth attacker, we knew they were going to get open looks. When they’ve got guys like Lucas Rodriguez and Leo Gibson and Bryan Perez, you know they’re going to create some opportunities. Fortunately, we had William back there – who, when we needed him to, came up with some big saves for us.”
The Comets finished two opportunities they created during the fourth quarter. Guerrero Pino punched in Ignacio “Nacho: Flores’ crossing pass at 10:15. Gibson lined in the final goal at 12:16.
“It was just a nice, bouncy ball,” Gibson said. “And I knew I had to time it right and just get it on frame.”
Gibson also provided the final goal in Kansas City’s loss to Milwaukee. As with the Baltimore loss, the Comets found themselves playing catch-up. They trailed 1-0 after one quarter and 2-1 at halftime.
Robert Renaud scored back-to-back goals late in the third quarter to make it 4-1 Wave before Andre Braithwaite and Anthony Grant each scored a goal to help Kansas City cut Milwaukee’s lead to 4-3 by quarter’s end.
Jonatan Santos scored at 1:37 in the fourth quarter to make it 5-3 Milwaukee. Ian Bennett then scored at 8:54 for Milwaukee’s final goal – and the final goal of his hat trick. Gibson drilled in a high shot at 13:17.
The Comets will try to end their losing streak at 7:05 p.m. Saturday against the St. Louis Ambush at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.