Comets visit Western Conference leading Sockers

by Nathan Dunn

Kansas City Comets vs San Diego Sockers

MASL Regular Season

Sunday, February 25 — 7:05 p.m. CT

Where | Pachenga Arena - San Diego, California 

Stream |

The Kansas City Comets (8-6-4) are preparing for a trip to the West Coast for their first Southern California matchup against the San Diego Sockers (14-2-0) on Sunday. The Comets will remain in California after Sunday as they travel to Ontario for a midweek meeting with the Empire Strykers.

The Comets have won just one of their last 10 but have shown improvements, with their previous three losses coming in overtime. Their most recent loss came against the defending Ron Newman Cup champion Chihuahua Savage. The Savage earned the extra point by scoring just 26 seconds into overtime.

The Comets defense has played much better since returning from a six-game road trip. In the last three games, they have conceded just nine goals in regulation and collected 59 blocks while Nicolau Neto has made 38 saves.

Robert Palmer has set a new record with 61 blocks this season, more blocks in a season than any player in MASL history. He has been assisted by Chad Vandegriffe, who is third in the league with 41 blocks.

While the Comets offense has slowed down, Zach Reget has still managed a way to score. His 24 goals this season have come in 14 of his 16 appearances.

The Comets will be without Henry Ramirez (left thigh strain), Lalo Alonso (right thigh strain) and Leo Gibson (undisclosed) while Ignacio Flores (right heel contusion) and Jacob Garza (left knee strain) are both probable.

Sunday's matchup is likely the Comets' final visit to Pechanga Arena before the Sockers move to Frontwave Arena next season. The Comets are 1-2 at Pechanga, 3-2 overall against the Sockers. The Sockers won both of the most recent meetings in San Diego the previous two years, winning 8-3 in 2022 and 7-3 in 2023. Both teams meet again in KC next month.

The Sockers lead the Western Conference with both of their losses coming against the Chihuahua Savage. The Sockers are looking to claim their third championship in four years under 2022-23 MASL Coach of the Year Phil Salvagio.

San Diego was the first team to clinch a playoff spot last week as they defeated the Texas Outlaws twice before beating the Empire Strykers 9-8 in a shootout. Kraig Chiles had the only successful shootout effort of the six attempts.

San Diego has won three straight with a defense led by former Comets goalkeeper Boris Pardo and defender Guerrero Pino. Pardo is a back-to-back MASL Goalkeeper of the Year who leads the West with nine wins. Pino leads the Sockers with 31 blocked shots.

Of their six scorers with 20 or more points, Tavoy Morgan leads with 31 points from 17 goals and 14 assists. Brandon Escoto has a team-high 21 goals.

The Sockers will be without Sean Callahan and Gabriel Costa while Leonardo De Oliveira is doubtful. The lengthy list of probable Sockers includes Charlie Gonzalez, Drew Ruggles, Flavio Guzman, Kraig Chiles, Luis Ortega and Tavoy Morgan.

The Comets will play away to the Empire Strykers on Wednesday, February 28, before returning home on Saturday, March 2, for a Retro Night matchup with the St. Louis Ambush. Tickets are available at