The 2019-20 Kansas City Comets will look quite a bit different than the 2018-19 Comets when they take the field for their 10th season later this month.
The most notable change comes at the head coach position, which was vacated by Kim Roentved’s departure. It was later announced that Leo Gibson would be the organization’s first player-coach (not counting that one time Vlatko Andonovski took the field against Roentved and his Wichita B-52s), signing through 2022.
The many front office changes were highlighted by former owner, Brian Budzinski, returning to the ownership group. Goalkeeper Mark Saxby will also debut in the Comets front office with the newly-established Director of Community Engagement title. The Comets also announced a lease extension that will keep their blue turf at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena for at least the next three years, while the team will continue training at the KC SoccerDome, which Budzinski owns.
On the field the Comets will still have veterans Leo Gibson, John Sosa, Stefan Stokic, Lucas Rodriguez, Robert Palmer, and Ramone Palmer, but it appears the team will be without James Togbah (traded to Utica City FC), Bryan Perez (retirement), Kevin Ellis, and Alain Matingou. The Comets also announced the signing of Hector “Moy” Solorio Villalpando, a graduate of Niagara University who most recently played for Kaw Valley FC of USL League Two. The Comets also added goalkeeper Nicolau Neto of Columbia College and midfielder Lucas Sousa from Park University, where he is the current assistant coach for the women’s team.
The Comets also released their preseason roster, which listed four trialists, including former Comet Odaine Sinclair, who subsequently signed with the Orlando SeaWolves. Also listed on the roster with his contract pending approval is former Comet, Seattle Sounders 2, and Sacramento Republic midfielder Ray Saari.
The Comets get their season underway on November 22nd with a visit to the Turlock Cal Express. Their home opener is the following week against the St. Louis Ambush.