The Kansas City Comets suffered their second overtime defeat of the season Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. The Comets played catch-up for the majority of the game, as St. Louis got two goals from Tony Walls and one each from Pepe Junqueira and Qudus Lawal in his MASL debut with Kiel Williams getting Kansas City’s only goal in the opening quarter. The Comets were able to tie it at 4-4 after three straight goals from Lucas Rodriguez and two from Leo Gibson. St. Louis retook the lead in the third period with goals from Pepe and Jonnathan Pachar. Gibson and Walls exchanged goals to secure hat tricks in the fourth quarter. The Comets were able to bring the score level and send the game to overtime at 7-7 after goals from Gui Gomes and John Sosa. About six minutes into overtime, St. Louis found the overtime winner through JT Thomas, who blasted the ball past Steven Hamersky and a couple desperate block attempts from Stefan Stokic and Robert Palmer.
Here are four findings from the game:
1. Goalkeeper Situation
With Mark Saxby’s suspension over, it appears that Hamersky’s latest stint with the Comets is over. Sunday’s loss was probably his most head-scratching performance with Kansas City this season. He made some huge saves again, but he seemed lost at times when making decisions to come out and when to stay back. This came back to bite the Comets on St. Louis’ fourth goal, when Tony Walls had a simple header over Hamersky, who was caught in no-man’s land. Saxby spent the weekend with the Wichita Wings for their M2 debut at the Austin Power, in which the Wings won both games without too much of a problem, but Saxby did not see time in either game. The Comets are also waiting for Nicolau Neto to get his visa approved, which would give them another option in goal, along with Saxby and Lou Misner.
2. Leo Gibson
It wasn’t a real surprise that the Comets all-time leading scorer added three more quality goals against the Ambush. After a relatively quiet first two games, the Comets player-coach had a major influence on Sunday’s game. He really should have had at least five goals, but he missed several chances throughout the game that would have shifted the game’s outcome. As the season continues, I would expect Gibson to become more and more lethal in front of goal.
3. Defensive Chemistry
This Comets defense hasn’t been great in both losses, with Hamersky covering for them with some big saves, but they do have a promising future. Veterans John Sosa and Robert Palmer mixed with new blood in Matt Lewis and Ray Lee, with a few other names that can step in as well, could turn into a decent defensive line in the MASL. Whoever the starting ‘keeper will be, the defense should improve their chemistry the more time they play with each other.
4. Kevin Ellis Back?
After both Kevin Ellis and the Comets seemed to agree to terminate his originally signed three year contract, which he signed in February, Ellis has returned to the Comets active roster, according to their website. I am aware that the Kansas City-native still lives in the area and coaches local youth soccer. If Ellis comes back, that would be a major boost for the Comets in their hopes to return to the Ron Newman Cup Playoffs.