The Kansas City Comets got their first win on Saturday night, defeating the St. Louis Ambush by a score of 6-4 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The Comets had an explosive first half, where they ended the opening 30 minutes with a 5-1 advantage. The second half, however, was a much different story. The Ambush managed to score two straight goals to bring the score to 5-3, but Leo Gibson answered for Kansas City by scoring his first of the season. A late consolation goal for St. Louis was scored by goalkeeper Paulo Nascimento, as the Ambush took their second loss of the weekend by a final score of 6-4. The 1-1 Comets don’t return to action until December 15th, when they will play at St. Louis. The 0-2 Ambush return home to face the Milwaukee Wave on December 8th.
Here are four findings from the Comets first win:
1. Much Improved Comets
Following Week One’s overtime loss to the Turlock Cal Express, the Comets came out firing for Week Two. Leo Gibson wasn’t at his best, but still managed to score a goal and record two assists. Kansas City was much more organized defensively and didn’t allow too many chances. The team seemed to play with more desire and fire than in previous seasons.
2. New Guys
Kansas City had four new(ish) guys that played a crucial role in Saturday’s win: Matt Lewis, Ray Lee, Robert Kelly, and Ray Saari. Lewis, Saari, and Lee all recorded goals, and Saari also recorded an assist. Robert Kelly’s grittiness was also a key factor to the team’s success. Hector Solorio has had a few bright spots, but simply hasn’t seen enough time to have a great impact. The Comets will only get stronger with veterans Robert and Ramone Palmer returning as well as Lucas Sousa and Nicolau Neto once they get their visas approved.
3. Finish The Game
While the first half was arguably the best half the Comets had played in the past few seasons, they didn’t finish the Ambush off. They allowed them back into the game. The Comets came out flat in the second half, not really mounting a threat offensively. It tends to be part of the indoor game, but the Ambush didn’t exactly come out firing in the second half either, and if the Comets did, the lead could have much more wider than it was.
4. New Sideline Manager/ Assistant Coach?
The Comets had a new sideline manager/assistant coach on Saturday night. That man is Alain Matingou. I predicted that Leo Gibson would be the head coach, but another candidate would have been Matingou. The Frenchman’s playing days are presumably over, which means he is the perfect man to manage the sidelines while Gibson can focus more on playing. It is uncertain if this is a one-time gig, every home game, or every home and away game, but I think it is certainly a good move to ensure the organization’s on-field success as Matingou has great knowledge of the system having been a teammate of Gibson for so many years in Kansas City.