by Joshua Hoeven

KANSAS CITY (Dec. 7, 2018) ‒ A few weeks ago, Kansas City Comets forward Adam James traveled back home to Kearney, MO. The drive from James’s apartment in Zona Rosa to Kearney is 26 miles-- roughly a 30 minute drive to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

Not all of the Comets were able to travel home for the holiday. Ignacio “Nacho” Flores and Mirko Sandivari have a longer trip to their home of Santiago, Chile. 

The pair would have had to endure a 12 and a half hour flight to get home, 5,234 miles from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, MO.

“[I visit] every two years. I went last year to do my visa stuff,” said Flores, recounting his last trip to Santiago. “I moved here… I think it was 2012.”

Flores is happy to be have had the opportunity to pursue his passion of playing soccer here in the United States, but still has plenty to miss back in Chile.

“I miss the food-- Well, there’s a lot of things, but I miss homemade food. My mom and my grandma’s food,” said Flores. “And of course, that being said, I miss my family and my friends. That’s the most important thing-- more than food.”

Nacho is one of many Comets who is only able to see his family every every few years. 

As the most popular sport in the world, soccer breaks geographical borders to bring people together. In the case of the Comets, players from 12 different countries have been united for a the common goal of winning an MASL Championship.

It speaks to the love for the game that is required for players like Gui Gomes to travel 5,312 miles away from Sao Paulo, Brazil to play. Gomes returned home in June for the first time in three years.

“It was this past June, I went to do my visa and all that-- I had to get that sorted out. Visited my family, travel a little bit,” said Gomes. “When I signed with the Comets I was in a transition of getting out of college and getting a new visa and getting another visa, so I had to stay in the country for three years.”

Gomes has no family here in the United States, outside of the family he has in his Comets teammates.

“I miss the my family the most. I’m a very family-guy. My mom, my dad, my brother-- They’re my biggest fans and they’re my biggest idols,” recalled Gomes. “I miss them the most, my friends and the culture, very happy music, the food.”