Comets prepare for regular season after repeating as Central Cup champion

The Examiner staff

The Kansas City Comets duplicated the successful start to their 2020-21 season this past weekend by successfully defending their preseason Central Cup crown. 

They won the Major Arena Soccer League preseason tournament last year with a 3-0 record and repeated as the winners this year, beating two MASL2 teams – the Wichita Wings 14-2 Friday at Cable Dahmer Arena and 9-2 against the Omaha Kings FC Saturday at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. 

Despite the unbeaten record, the Comets still needed help from Saturday night’s St. Louis-Wichita matchup. For Kansas City to claim the title, it needed Wichita to beat St. Louis, or Wichita to score at least three goals to break the goals against tiebreaker. Wichita scored six goals in a 9-6 loss to St. Louis. 

What made the offensive-powered wins even more impressive was the simple fact that player/coach Leo Gibson, who led the Comets in scoring last season, coached both games from the bench and did not play. 

"I am going to play this season," Gibson said at a recent practice, "but I anticipate cutting down on my minutes. It's time to start coaching and seeing what the younger players can do." 

The win over the Wings included eight different goal scorers for the Comets, as Rian Marques scored four, while Kyle McLagan, the son of former Kansas City Comet and former Blue Springs High School soccer coach Doug McLagan, and Felipe Abreu each scored two. 

Many of the newcomers to the Comets played considerable minutes, including Ali Sodal, Lesia Thetsane and Eduardo “Benji” Monreal, who scored his first Comet goal in the first quarter against his former team. 

Some of the players who are trying to earn a spot on the Comets roster included J.J. Oteze, Absa Solorio, Christian Anderaos and Eduardo “Lalo” Alonso. 

“I am excited that we are bringing back the core players from last season and bringing in newcomers who can play and who will really be exciting for our fans,” Gibson added. “We’re all excited about the start of the (regular) season.” 

The Comets open regular-season play on Friday, Nov. 26, at St. Louis then return for a 7:05 p.m. game Saturday, Nov. 27 at Cable Dahmer Arena for their regular season home opener against the same Ambush team.

Central Cup final standings 

1. Kansas City Comets (2-0) – 4 goals against, +19 goal differential 

2. St. Louis Ambush (2-0) – 8 goals against, +9 goal differential 

3. Omaha Kings FC (0-2) – 18 goals against, -14 goal differential 

4. Wichita Wings (0-2) – 22 goals against, -14 goal differential