by Josh Hoeven

KANSAS CITY (Nov. 16, 2018) ‒ "I guess you have to go away to know what you left… We have been here for close to 10 years, so for us, this is home.”

Defender Alain Matingou’s words resonate as a common theme with many of the Kansas City Comets players. 

Over the offseason, Matingou, along with Ramone Palmer, Robert Palmer and John Sosa were brought back to Kansas City after after spending the last year with other MASL clubs. Each player in the quartet played on the 2014 MISL Championship Comets Team.

On Oct. 11, the Comets announced that Sosa had signed a three-year contract with the club after his previous season with the San Diego Sockers.

“It’s phenomenal to be able to be back here, this is obviously home for me,” said Sosa. “I get to come back and be around my friends‒the guys that I’ve been playing with for so many years‒and I get to play in front of the best fans in the league, I think.”

The other three players, acquired on September 7 through a three-way trade with San Diego and the Tacoma Stars, agree that there is just something about playing in Kansas City.

“I’ve played in [Tacoma], but it was nothing compared to Kansas City,” said Forward Ramone Palmer. “It was a good experience, but Kansas City is just a different environment, a different atmosphere in the arena, in practice. It’s just family being here, it absolutely feels great to be back.”

The atmosphere discussed by the players comes from feeling at home in Kansas City, and perhaps more so from feeling at home with their team.

“Here is home, you know?” said Robert Palmer. “You know, a lot of us have been playing together the past five or six years so we kind of know each other’s habits. We have that connection.”

During practice, that connection is clear. Comets players tease each other during stretching as much as they praise their teammates from the bench during scrimmages. 

Calls of “Good, Sosa!” “Good, Robert!” echo throughout the Kansas City Soccer dome. The contagious enthusiasm stems from a love for playing soccer, and‒more importantly‒winning.

“[The 2014 MISL Championship] is probably the most memorable moment in my career,” said Sosa. “We have a championship-caliber team at this moment. We want to revive those moments again, so that’s the way we’re approaching this season.”

The Comets’ desire to win has been evident throughout training camp. Players stay after being dismissed for the day to run drills and additional conditioning exercises. 

“I feel like this year we have a more complete team, so that we can go all the way, but it comes down to the hard work we put in at practice,” said Matingou. “The chemistry is growing, it’s getting there, which is good. Now we just have to be able to understand our roles within the team, and then apply what we’re learning at practice in the game.” 

“We have that connection where we can go all the way,” said Palmer. “It just depends on us, you know? How much we want it.”

Though they come from across the globe, these players have found home and a family in the Kansas City Comets. This season, they will play to bring another championship home.

Look for Matingou, Sosa and both Ramone and Robert Palmer in the Comets’ season-opener at the Milwaukee Wave on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 at 6:05 p.m. CT.

The Kansas City Comets will open their 12-game home schedule against the Milwaukee Wave at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena on December 15 at 7:05 p.m. CT. The full 24-game schedule is available now at

Season Tickets are available now and single game and group tickets will be available soon. For more information about the Kansas City Comets, be sure to follow the team on Facebook (@KansasCityComets), Twitter and Instagram (@KCComets).