The phone call Leo Gibson has been anticipating the entire offseason came last week from Kansas City Comets coach Kim Roentved.
He asked the former Major Arena Soccer League Most Valuable Player and Major Indoor Soccer League champion if he wanted to return to the Comets for a ninth season.
“I told Coach I would like to return, and I am very excited about the upcoming season,” said Gibson, who scored his 200th career goal last season in his role as a player/assistant coach. “Kansas City is my home.
“I’m so happy to continue playing here and in front of the Comets fans. They have been very supportive and appreciative of me as an athlete and a person from the first day I joined the team, and I am so thankful for their support each year.”
Gibson was one of the first players signed by Roentved when the Comets returned to play back in 2010. He has been with the team since then.
“Leo’s presence on the field is not something you can measure,” said Roentved, the team’s original coach who returned to the bench last season. “Not to mention he is one of the top players in the league. It was my first priority to make sure that we were able to bring him back for another season.”
While the Comets struggled with a 7-15 record last season, Gibson said he does not believe his career will be defined by wins and losses.
“It would have been a bit disappointing if last year was my last season, because we were a team that had had so much success all the previous years,” said Gibson, who has spent much of his summer running his own personal soccer camps, along with being named the Comets summer camp director. “We are all hoping for more success this season – individually and as a team – and I believe we will accomplish that goal.”
Gibson was the MASL MVP in 2014 after scoring 93 points (48 goals, 45 assists) in the Comets’ undefeated 20-0 season. In the three seasons since then he has been named to the MASL’s second seam, honorable mention and third team.
He finished the 2017-2018 campaign fifth in the MASL in goals (30) and second in assists (28). For his Comets career, including playoffs, he has totaled 212 goals and 180 assists.
Gibson was also a standout on the 2014 Comets team that won the last MISL championship in the history of that now defunct league.
“We have many great memories, and we are hoping for many more,” Gibson said. “I know Coach is very excited about the upcoming season and so am I.”