Comets host Utica City for Sunday rematch

by Nathan Dunn

Kansas City Comets vs Utica City FC

MASL Regular Season

Sunday, March 10 — 4:05 p.m. CT

Where | Cable Dahmer Arena - Independence, Missouri 

Stream |

The Kansas City Comets (11-6-4) will put their three-game winning streak to the test Sunday when they welcome Utica City FC (13-4-1) to Cable Dahmer Arena. A regulation Comets win and a Baltimore loss in Monterrey would clinch the Comets a spot in the Ron Newman Cup Playoffs.

The Comets are looking for their fourth consecutive win after taking eight of nine points from a challenging three-game stretch. They took two wins in California with victories over San Diego and Empire before an overtime win against St. Louis. 

Zach Reget was the hero in last Saturday's win over St. Louis. His overtime winner was his league-leading 39th point and 27th goal this season.

The Comets' defense has been another key ingredient in the team's recent surge. Nicolau Neto enters this week leading the MASL with 230 saves and sits second with 11 wins and third stopping 75% of shots. Robert Palmer leads the league with 73 blocks while Chad Vandegriffe is third with 48.

A big difference has been the Comets' special teams efficiency. They lead the MASL scoring on 46% of power plays. They are also among the best on the penalty kill, killing 68% and have conceded just once of the last 12 penalties.

The Comets will be without Leo Gibson (undisclosed) while Lalo Alonso (thigh strain) is doubtful. Rian Marques (illness) is questionable while a long list of probable include Henry Ramirez (thigh strain), Ignacio Flores (heel contusion), Jacob Garza (knee sprain), Lucas Sousa (illness), Ramone Palmer (thigh strain) and Ray Lee (knee pain).

The Comets have lost their last three against UCFC, including last year's Wild Card game before two regular-season losses in January. Three of their previous four meetings have required overtime.

With a 6-3 away record, Utica is one of two Eastern Conference teams that have won most of their road games. UCFC's only road losses have come in Baltimore, Tacoma, and Milwaukee.

Sunday will wrap up a critical weekend for Utica City. They lost to Milwaukee on Friday 6-3. If they lose again in regulation on Sunday, they will be level on points with the Comets.

Last week, UCFC pummeled Baltimore 10-2 after going down early 1-0. They scored nine straight before Baltimore snagged their second late in the fourth quarter.

Utica City is led by the offensive duo of Nilton de Andrade and four-time MVP Franck Tayou, who will both be out for UCFC. They have combined for 50 points, though Steven Fernandez can also step up in big moments as he it tied with Andrade with four game-wnning goals. 

UCFC will also be without Nate Bourdeau (hip), Taylor Bond (personal) and Tim Goldman (knee). Gordy Gurson (ankle) is questionable.

Tickets for the matchup are available at Groups of four or more can purchase a March Madness 4-Pack for as low as $50 for four terrace tickets.