• Waltman, Gibson return to Comets

  • The Missouri Comets received some good news last week. Just ask coach Kim Roentved.

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  • The Missouri Comets received some good news last week. Just ask coach Kim Roentved.
    “This crazy free agency is not helping my blood pressure,” said Roentved, who presided over a Thursday news conference at the Independence Events Center, where the MISL team announced that goalkeeper Danny Waltman and defender Leo Gibson had signed for the 2012-13 season.
    “Danny, I am so glad you’re back,” Roentved said, casting a quick glance at the goalkeeper who had been courted by Baltimore and other MISL teams, “and Leo, you’re everywhere. I think you’re setting a world record for appearances.”
    Waltman spent the offseason playing on the U.S. National Futsol team that played in Guatemala.
    “I always said when (all-star goalkeeper) Sabu retired, I’d like to play in Baltimore,” Waltman said, “but I’m a Comet, and I hope to always be a Comet. This is the best place for me, it’s the best place to play and the Comets have such a great history.”
    When asked how serious the negotiations were, Waltman smiled and said, “They weren’t that serious. I don’t want to make Coach’s blood pressure go too high. Besides, we’re on the verge of something special, and if I’m lucky enough to win a championship, I want to hold the trophy up right here and share it with the fans in the Events Center.”
    Gibson, who is working with area high schools and churches to promote his Kick for Christ program that collects used shoes, clothing and sporting goods to be sent to his native Liberia, is thrilled to be back with the Comets.
    “This is where I want to play, and I am very excited,” Gibson said. “And we’re all excited to have Danny back. Maybe Kim’s blood pressure will go down now that he has seen Danny and knows he’s going to be back on the team.”
    The Comets also announced the return of Craig Rocastle. Rocastle, who already had ties to the metro when he played for the Wizards and Sporting KC, signed with the Comets last season but was allowed to play for Thrasyvoulos FC of the Greek Second Division. He started in 17 games, earning nine match MVP awards and compiling eight assists.
    “Letting Rocky gain more experience by playing internationally will only benefit (us) this season,” Comets president Brian Budzinski said. “We wanted him on the team and he wanted to come back to Kansas City for his family. The timing just fit, and he can have an immediate impact on the team.”
    The Comets are also attracting national attention as they are hosting the first MISL Combine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the KC Sports Lodge, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Events Center and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the SoccerDome.
    Page 2 of 2 - The combine will offer 60 players the chance to play in front of every MISL general manager and coach.
    “We believe eight to 10 young men will sign professional contracts as a result of this combine,” said MISL senior director Chris Economides, who attended the news conference.
    Fans attending Fan Fest, which will run from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Events Center, will have the chance to watch participants in the combine scrimmage each other.
    For more on Fan Fest, see Saturday’s Examiner.

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