• Comets aiming for title in third season

  • The countdown is on to what Missouri Comets coach Kim Roentved calls the most important season in the three-year history of his MISL squad.

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  • The countdown is on to what Missouri Comets coach Kim Roentved calls the most important season in the three-year history of his MISL squad.
    “This is a very big season,” said Roentved, an MISL legend who played for the Wichita Wings and Kansas City Comets in the 1980s, “because in the past two seasons, we have reached the semifinals and fallen short of our goal.
    “This is the year we have to take that final step to the championship, and we are doing our best to put together a team that can get the job done.”
    Many players who will be in the metro area for the upcoming open tryouts, Sept. 22-23, and MISL Combine, Sept. 27-30, have been working out with Comets players two days a week at the SoccerDome.
    “The boys are getting after it pretty good,” Roentved said. “They are practicing on Tuesday and Thursdays and will soon add Wednesdays. I’m not coaching them, but I pop in occasionally to see what’s going on, and I like what I see.
    “This is a dedicated group of players and we want our fans to know that we are doing our best to bring back our core players from last season.
    “We are not looking to make any excuses this year, and we never made excuses the last two years when we lost out in the semifinals. This year could be very special for our team, our fans – everyone.”
    Roentved went to his native Denmark in search of some new talent and returned to Independence with forward Mads Flack Larsen and Kevin Jorgensen.
    “They will help our team,” Roentved said. “They have played at the highest level and I believe they will blend in well with the chemistry that our team has developed over the past two seasons.
    “We are in need of a new recipe to try to make it the championship game, and I believe Mads and Kevin will be key ingredients.”
    One major issue this year for the Comets will be the health of key players like midfielder Vahid Assadpour and defender Brian Harris, who missed the playoffs last year because of injuries.
    “Once again, not making an excuse, but we are a different team with Vahid and Brian,” Roentved said. “Vahid’s neck is 99.9 percent healed and Brian is coming back from a leg injury and we expect him to be 100 percent when the season starts.”
    The team is in contract negotiations with goalkeeper Danny Waltman and MISL scoring leader and MVP Geison, and the veteran coach believes both players will be back in a Comets jersey this season.
    “We’re ironing out a few issues with them and (all-star defender) Leo Gibson,” Roentved said, “and we believe they will be back for the upcoming season. They love this area and this team and I would be very surprised if they decided to play anywhere else.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The 2012-13 schedule has not been completed. The team will host its annual Fan Fest from 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Independence Events Center.

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