Comets face first road test on Saturday at Harrisburg

The Kansas City Comets face their first road test under head coach Stefan Stokic on Saturday when they visit the Harrisburg Heat for their home opener.

Saturday’s Eastern Conference battle will be the first of two meetings between these two teams within a month. The Heat will visit Cable Dahmer Arena on January 6.

The Comets have started the Stokic Era with two big rivalry wins. In Week 1, they beat the Milwaukee Wave 9-3. In Week 2, they defeated the St. Louis Ambush 7-2. A win on Saturday would boost the Comets to a 3-0 start for the second time in the past three seasons.

The Comets are led in scoring by defender John Sosa, who has tallied six points from four assists and two goals. Zach Reget leads the team in goals with four. Nicolau Neto is off to a 2-0 start and has stopped 86% of shots faced with back-to-back MASL Goalkeeper of the Week honors.

Rookie midfielder Leo Acosta (right hip strain) could make his Comets debut. Leo Gibson (illness) is questionable for Saturday.

The Comets are looking to remain unbeaten against Harrisburg in the all-time series. The Comets are 9-0 against the Heat, including a 3-0 record in Harrisburg. Their most recent meetings came last season when the Comets ended the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Heat. The Comets won at Cable Dahmer Arena 9-4 before a 5-1 victory in Harrisburg the following week.

Pat Healey leads the Heat into his fifth season as head coach. Harrisburg finished last place in the East last year but made several veteran additions for the 2023-24 season. Highlighting the offseason additions include former Florida Tropics duo Hugo Silva and Joey Tavernese as well as former Baltimore Blast defender Onua Obasi.

Harrisburg is coming from a 7-5 loss away to Utica City FC. After trailing 4-1, they managed to pull themselves back in to tie it at 4-4 in the third period and 5-5 in the fourth. Utica ultimately had enough to pull ahead before scoring another against six attackers.

Roshawn Panton, Malcolm Harris and ex-Comet Dominic Francis all tallied a goal and an assist in their loss to Utica. Goalkeeper Grant Glorioso made 12 saves in the losing effort. Harris (personal) is the only Harrisburg player who will miss Saturday’s contest.

Following the Comets’ first road game, they will prepare for a back-to-back against the Texas Outlaws. They play in Texas on Saturday, December 16 and return home to Cable Dahmer Arena on Sunday, December 17.