I've only seen one game this season, but I could not be more impressed with the Missouri Comets.
I wondered how the last champion in the history of the now-defunct Major Indoor Soccer League would respond to the new surroundings of the new Major Arena Soccer League, and they are thriving.
The Comets take a 3-0 record in Saturday's second home game of the season, and if their home-opening 9-7 win over Milwaukee is an indicator of what we can expect Saturday, fasten your seat belt because it's going to be a wild ride.
“The boys are playing very good soccer,” said coach Vlatko Andonovski, a man whose dedication and work ethic have become legendary around the league. “We got off to a bad start against Milwaukee (3-0 deficit in the first period), but the Wave had a lot to do with that.
“We talked about some things to work on the second half at halftime, and the boys responded.”
The Comets scored three goals in a span of 1 minute, 22 seconds and went on to claim a victory that left the standing-room-only crowd of 5,800 screaming for more.
“The fans had a lot to do with the win over Milwaukee,” said goalkeeper Danny Waltman, who stood on his head in the net and made enough saves to fill a season's worth of highlight reels. “When we got down early, they were still with us.
“We got a lot of energy from our fans, and we hope to get a lot more energy Saturday night.”
The Wichita B-52s make their first appearance at the Independence Events Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, and like most fans, defender Brian Harris can't wait.
“When we won the home opener, all the guys were like, 'Let's play another game tonight,'” said Harris, who also coaches youth soccer teams in Blue Springs. “The offense and defense just kind of fed off each other in the win against Milwaukee.
“Even though we got down early, we all knew we had the offense to get back in the game, and with Danny in the net, you feel like you're going to win every game. He's the best.”
Much like the Missouri Mavericks, who also call the Events Center home, the Comets are becoming a part of Eastern Jackson County, even though they don't train or live in the area like the Mavericks players do.
“It's important to give back to the community that supports us like they do in Eastern Jackson County,” said Harris, who has become an important part of the local youth soccer scene. “When you go out for warm-ups and there are 5,800 people in the stands, you think, 'Wow! This is special.' And we want to give something back to them.”
And there's no better gift than a roller-coaster ride of a home-opening win that everyone will be talking about throughout the rest of the season.
If the Comets keep playing like they have the first three games of the season, the team might want to keep those MISL championship ring measurements. They just might come in handy.
Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at 350-6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC