MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Knowing that a playoff game is much more important than the regular-season finale, Kansas City Comets coach Kim Roentved kept some of his key players home during a regular-season 9-5 loss Saturday in Milwaukee.

Defender James Togbah missed this game due to penalty point accumulations while Kevin Ellis, Lucas Rodriguez, Stefan Stokic and Leo Gibson stayed home in Kansas City to rest and get ready for Thursday’s Major Arena Soccer League 2019 Ron Newman Cup opening playoff game against the same Wave team.

They will face each other in the postseason for the eighth time in nine years as their home-and-home aggregate series begins at 7:35 p.m. Thursday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

With those players out of the lineup, Mirko Sandivari, Robert Kelly and goalkeeper Steven Hamersky got the chance to earn some valuable playing time.

In the regular-season finale, Hamersky entered the game in the second quarter and made several saves, including a stop late in the game on a Milwaukee shootout attempt.

The Comets fell behind 5-0 and only managed four shots in the first half. John Sosa finally got Kansas City on the board midway through the third quarter with a restart goal from the top of the arc.

In the fourth quarter, the Comets finally started to find a rhythm. Kansas City outscored Milwaukee 4-3 in the final period, with goals from Ramone Palmer, Bryan Perez, Ignacio “Nacho” Flores and Anthony Grant. Comets forward Byron Alvarez also recorded an assist in his first extended action of the season.