by Pat Clifton

KANSAS CITY (Dec. 19, 2019) -The Kansas City Comets continue their road-warrior start to the season, playing at the expansion Mesquite Outlaws Saturday and at the Dallas Sidekicks Sunday. Come next week, the Comets will have played four of their first five games on the road.

So far, they’re 1-0 at home and 0-2 away, though both losses came in overtime. Dallas enters the contest 0-4, having conceded double-digit goals in their last three games. Mesquite has played just two games so far, beating crosstown rival Dallas 7-5 in its Major Arena Soccer League debut and falling narrowly to the Monterrey Flash.

Comets head coach Leo Gibson has made just one change to his starting lineup from Sunday’s overtime loss at St. Louis. Goalkeeper Mark Saxby opened the season serving a three-game suspension, and he’ll get his first start in the net against the Sidekicks Saturday.

Just as Saxby started the season with adversity, having to watch his team take the field three times without him, the Comets feel they let a couple of wins slip through their fingers at Turlock and St. Louis. Both the individual and the team are eager to right the ship.

“Everything happens for a reason. Did I need to learn something about myself? Most definitely. And did I? Absolutely. I couldn’t be more happy to return with more perspective on my shoulders to start the season,” said Saxby.

“There’s definitely confidence within the group. The team couldn’t be more excited to rewrite those last couple of overtime losses. If we could have it back, it would have gone in our favor. I think that definitely propels the accelerators inside these guys to work a little bit harder knowing that when it does come down to those extra minutes you didn’t expect to play in overtime, that your body and mid are properly equipped to pull out the win. Everyone’s on the same page, very focused.”

Sunday marks the second-straight week the Comets face a team desperately seeking its first win of the season. Despite their record, the Sidekicks aren’t without talent. Veteran Freddy Moojen and MASL rookie Luiz Felipe Xavier De Andrade lead the team with three goals-a-piece.

The Comets know less about Saturday’s foe, the fledgling Mesquite Outlaws. They’re led in scoring by Midwestern State product Jorge Deleon. What the Comets do know is that the field at Mesquite Rodeo, the Outlaws’ home venue, is smaller than what they’re used to.

“They have a smaller, more narrow field,” added Saxby. “So we have some tactics we’ll be implementing, just to adapt to the situation at hand, similar to Turlock when we were up there. The field was different proportions than what we’re playing at Silverstein. So that makes an impactful difference.”

Both Texas tussles will be streamed live on The Comets kickoff Saturday against the Outlaws at 7:05 CST and Sunday against the Sidekicks at 3:05 CST. They return home Dec. 28 to take on Danny Waltman and the Tacoma Stars.