Comets return home for battle against Stars
Kansas City Comets vs Tacoma Stars
MASL Regular Season
Friday, February 9 — 7:05 p.m. CT
Where | Cable Dahmer Arena - Independence, Missouri
Stream | twitch.tv/masl_soccer
The Kansas City Comets are finally back home to kickoff a weekend of celebration in Kansas City as they face the Tacoma Stars on Friday evening at Cable Dahmer Arena. Friday's critical interconference matchup will be assisted by local celebrities providing some quality halftime entertainment as Team Vasos looks to go back-to-back against Team Serrano in the annual Celebrity Halftime Game.
The Comets are back on home turf for the first time since a January 12 loss against Utica City FC. Since that loss, the Comets have lost six times on the road. Their most recent loss came against the St. Louis Ambush when they let a 4-1 halftime lead slowly slip away as they suffered a 6-5 overtime loss.
The Comets will be without leading scorer Zach Reget as he joins the U.S. National Futsal Team at camp in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Eastern Conference scoring leader has scored his 23 goals in 13 of 15 games this season. Former Tacoma defender DeBray Hollimon (left great toe sprain) is doubtful against his former team, while Ray Lee (left knee effusion) is probable.
Leo Gibson has picked up his scoring pace since the turn of the new year. After being left off the scoresheet for his first five games, Gibson has contributed a point in six of the last seven games. He became Kansas City's all-time leading goalscorer with his 334th career goal for the Comets in last week's loss to the Ambush.
Another player chasing a milestone is Robert Palmer. The Jamaican defender is just two blocks shy of becoming the first player in MASL history to reach 300 career blocks.
This will be the only regular season matchup between the Comets and Stars this season. The Stars have won three of the last four contests at Cable Dahmer Arena, including last year's meeting when they beat the Comets 7-5. The Comets hold the all-time edge with a 6-4 overall record, including 5-3 on home turf.
The Stars (5-5-1) enter the matchup in good shape, having only lost to Western Conference heavyweight San Diego Sockers five times before a 5-3 loss last week against Eastern Conference frontrunner Monterrey Flash. Under the management of head coach Adam Becker, Tacoma is in prime position for another playoff spot and is looking to pass up third-place Chihuahua Savage and push the Texas Outlaws for the second-place spot in the West.
Reigning MASL MVP Nick Perera is putting another MVP-level season together for the Stars. Perera is leading the league in numerous categories with 3.3 points per game, 36 points and 18 assists.
Defensively, the Stars are highlighted by MASL veteran Chris Toth and former Seattle Sounders defender Roman Torres. Toth is a three-time MASL Goalkeeper of the Year winner who has rejoined the Stars following a two-year stint with the Empire Strykers. Torres is a former Panamanian international who helped the Sounders to MLS Cup championships in 2016 and 2019, scoring the winning penalty kick in the 2016 MLS Cup Final.
Tacoma will be without Cale Spence (illness) and Gilbert De La Luz (illness).
After Friday's matchup, the Comets will immediately turn their attention to Saturday's clash against former World Cup veteran Marco Fabian and the Empire Strykers.
For the full Celebrity Game roster, see Team Vasos and Team Serrano rosters below.
Nick Vasos - Fox 4
Bill Althaus - Independence Examiner
Fred Liggett - Lee's Summit Tribune
Daniel Sperry - Kansas City Star
Jordan Gallant - KC Fashion
The Royal Chief - Recording Artist
Cody Bradley - KC Soccer Journal
Ivani Bing - Power 105.1 and Fox's We Are Family
Kelli Peltier - Fox 4
Matt Stewart - Fox 4
Jacob Lanier - Fox 4
Nate Houser - Former Comets/Attack
Thad Bell - KC Soccer Journal
Chad Smith - KC Soccer Journal
Jaime Bluma - Former KC Royal
Kerri Stowell - Fox 4
Michelle Bogowith - Fox 4
Stephen Lomas - Alix and Stephen Show and Netflix’s Squid Game
Alix Blahnik - Alix and Stephen Show
Dulcinea Herrera - Former Miss Kansas City Latina 2021
Steve Serrano - Mix 93.3
Morgan Mobley - KMBC 9
Nick Rich - KC Pioneers eSports
Misti Mundae - 90.9 The Bridge
Brian 'B-Dub' Williams - Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports
Tucker Franklin - KC Sports Network
Luke Wade - KC Crew
Hartzell Gray - KC Morning Show
Alan Shope - KMBC 9
Titus Golden - Ozell Brand
Tim Gutschenritter - Timeless
Jillian Carroll Letrinko - KCTV5
Hector Solorio - La Barra KC
Craig Cook - Liv KC
Eric Coomes - Mosaic DJ
Chase Higginz - KC Boys and Netflix’s Squid Game
Kyle Allen - KC Boys
Desi Kraus - KC Boys
Blakeston Bryant - KC Boys