by Pat Clifton

KANSAS CITY (Nov. 21, 2019) – The Kansas City Comets have announced their season-opening roster ahead of Friday’s contest at the Turlock Cal Express. Beginning with the 2019-2020 regular season, each MASL team is restricted to 26 registered players. On game days, those rosters will be limited to an active roster of 14 field players and up to two goalkeepers.

The Comets opened the preseason with a 10-2 win over the Wichita Wings Friday at the Kansas City Soccer Dome in front of their season ticket holders. The final signee of the preseason, Steven Hamersky, started against his hometown Wings in the exhibition match. He’ll get the start in the net against the Cal Express Friday, too, and he’ll be backed up by Lou Misner, who came to the team through an open tryout.

The franchise’s all-time leader in goals, assists and caps, Leo Gibson, will start his first game as head coach in the forwards, flanked by veteran midfielders Lucas Rodriguez and Kiel Williams. John Sosa will join forces in the defense with Robert Kelly, who is earning a start in his third-ever MASL appearance. Ray Lee, Mirko Sandivari, Stefan Stokic, Gui Gomes, Ray Saari, Hector Solorio Villalpando, Ignacio Flores and Adam James will come off the bench. 

Friday marks the first-ever matchup between Kansas City and Turlock. The Express and Comets have coexisted in the MASL since 2014-2015, but they’ve never been in the same division, met in the playoffs or faced off in interdivisional play.

The Express are coming off a 3-21 campaign, finishing last in the Pacific, while the Comets finished 13-11 last season, good for second in the South Central, falling to eventual Ron Newman Cup winners Milwaukee in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Comets immediately return home after Friday’s match to prepare for the Nov. 30 home opener against the rival St. Louis Ambush at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Mark Saxby, Nicolau Neto+, Steven Hamersky, Lou Misner

DEFENDERS (8): John Sosa, Ignacio Flores, Mirko Sandivari, Robert Palmer+, Matt Lewis, Stefan Stokic, Robert Kelly, Ray Lee

MIDFIELDERS (6): Lucas Rodriguez, Ramone Palmer+, Lucas Sousa+, Hector Solorio Villalpando, Ray Saari, Kiel Williams

FORWARDS (3): Adam James, Leo Gibson, Gui Gomes


+Player pending visa approval