by Pete Richmire

INDEPENDENCE, MO. – The Kansas City Comets (2-4) began the match with eight players out for COVID protocols but used a pair of goals from Adam James and Nick McDonald to defeat the San Diego Sockers (0-1) by a 5-3 final Friday night at Cable Dahmer Arena.

The Comets entered the match on a four-game skid facing a team making their 2021 debut. Facing a fresh team combined with playing shorthanded, Kansas City had their work cut out for them. It appeared even more so as San Diego took a 1-0 lead on Cesar Cerda’s goal, assisted by Felipe Gonzalez with 2:15 to go in the first quarter. They had the lone goal of the opening frame and the Comets would score the only goal in the second.

Following a flurry of shots turned away by San Diego keeper Boris Pardo, James found a rebound off a John Sosa shot to level the match 1-1 just 48 seconds into the quarter. San Diego had a power play opportunity in the second, but the Kansas City defense was equal to the challenge and the teams headed to the locker room even at 1-1.

The first second half goal came when Kevin Ellis connected with McDonald for his first of the game, giving the Comets their first lead at 2-1 with 10:41 to go in the third. It was James’ second marker of the game, on an assist from Kyle McLagan, that gave the Comets a 3-1 advantage heading into the final quarter.

A fourth quarter lead is familiar territory for the Comets. Already down eight men, the Comets lost another when Jose Ramos was issued a red card with 12:43 still to play in the fourth, holding a two-goal lead. Gonzalez converted on a Leonardo De Oliveira assist for the Sockers cutting the Comets lead to just one with 6:08 on the clock.

It took Kansas City just 10 seconds to answer on Rian Marques’ fifth goal of the season, assisted by McLagan and the Comets kept the momentum their way. McDonald’s second goal of the game, and third of the season trickled past Pardo to put the Comets up by three at 5-2 with only 3:08 left.

Kansas City’s goalkeeper Nicolau Neto stood tall against several Sockers’ flurries of shots, but none bigger than in the final quarter to anchor a defense that played solidly all game. San Diego did post one more goal, this one by veteran Brandon Escoto on an assist from Marcio Leite to reach the 5-3 final.

Following the win, the Comets will have a much-needed bye week before hosting the St. Louis Ambush on Friday February 12 while the Sockers will head to Dallas for a date with the Sidekicks Sunday.


1st – SD Cerda (Gonzalez) 12:45. Penalties – none.

2nd – KC James (Sosa) 0:48. Penalties – KC Palmer blue card (elbowing) 6:18.

3rd – KC McDonald (Ellis) 4:19; KC James (McLagan) 8:01. Penalties – KC Bench yellow card (bench misconduct) 11:34.

4th – SD Gonzalez (De Oliveira) 8:52; KC Marques (McLagan) 9:02; KC McDonald (Palmer) 11:52; SD Escoto (Leite) 12:12. Penalties – KC Ramos red card (headbutt) 2:17; SD Bench yellow card (bench misconduct) 13:36.

Shots – Kansas City 5-5-6-5 (21); San Diego 7-8-8-6 (29)

Kansas City is back in action in two weeks when they host the St. Louis ambush on February 12th. Game time is set for 7:05 pm and tickets are available through Ticketmaster or by calling (888) 9-COMETS.