The Kansas City Comets suffered their first defeat in Match Day #1 to a newly re-branded Turlock Cal Express. After getting out to a quick 2-0 lead, the Comets gave up three straight before both sides exchanged goals to end the first half with a 4-3 Express lead. Both teams exchanged goals again early in the third quarter. Adam James finally got the equalizer for Kansas City in the fourth period to send the game to overtime. After a two minute penalty for too many men on the field, Turlock’s Juan Gonzalez scored the golden goal to give the Express the season opening win.
Here are four finding’s for the Comets opening game:
1. Missing Pieces
The Comets really struggled to find opportunities going forward on a very small field. A man who really could have changed the game would have been Ramone Palmer, who served a one game suspension as well as still awaiting his visa approval along with Robert Palmer, and new signings Lucas Sousa and Nicolau Neto. Ramone Palmer would have had more quickness and craftiness, something that KC lacked in unfamiliar territory. Robert Palmer’s presence could have also made a difference. Another experienced Kingston, Jamaica native, Robert would have been able to settle things down defensively. The Comets defense was leaking chances throughout the game, sometimes leaving just one man to defend two, sometimes even three Express attackers. Mark Saxby, who missed Friday’s game through suspension, was replaced to great success by Steven Hamersky, who was able to come up with some crucial saves to keep the Comets in punching distance.
2. Defensive Issues
The Express could have scored several more goals if they were a bit more accurate. As I’ve already stated, the Comets defense looked suspicious at times, defending with 3 v 1 situations on multiple occasions. Whether or not they planned on leaving just one man back, they still didn’t create enough chances. Kansas City will have to find better balance and depth if they hope to be successful this season.
3. Comets Keeper
Leo Gibson might have a difficult decision to make after the most recent displays from Steven Hamersky in the Comets vs. Wichita Wings preseason friendly and the loss in Turlock. If Hamersky continues his brilliance between the posts, Gibson might have something to think about. Hamersky signed with the Wings, who don’t start regular season play in M2 until December 14th. I’m not sure if anything can be done about extending Hamersky’s stay, but the Comets might want to keep Hamersky if he is deemed better than Saxby, Lou Misner, and Nicolau Neto.
4. Different Express
Turlock who went 3-21 last season, are now 2-0 this season following wins over the Comets and an even more impressive win in San Diego on Sunday. At first glance, the Comets were probably embarrassed to have lost that game, but after seeing the same team win in San Diego, I’m sure they don’t feel quite as bad. After two games, it seems as if the Express are one of the teams to beat.
The Comets return to action for their home opener on Saturday night, when they host the St. Louis Ambush at 7:05 PM CT. The game can be live-streamed through YouTube on Masl.tv.