Comets face Savage in Mexico finale
The Kansas City Comets (7-3-1) will be eager to end a three-game losing streak when they make their first-ever visit to the reigning Ron Newman Cup champion Chihuahua Savage (3-4-0) for an interconference clash Friday evening.
Friday's matchup in Mexico's largest state will be the Comets' third and final matchup south of the border, where a compact and hostile environment will be waiting inside Corner Sport Arena. Following Friday's matchup, the Comets will return to American soil to finish up the second half of a six-game road trip.
The Comets' losing skid began last Friday when they suffered a 7-6 overtime loss at home against Utica City FC. The Comets lost a second straight with a 12-5 thumping loss away to the Monterrey Flash on Sunday before dropping a close one on Tuesday in Monterrey 8-7.
The Comets sit third in the East with 22 points, trailing UCFC by a point and leading Milwaukee by a point. A win Friday would momentarily put the Comets in second place with UCFC set to host the Texas Outlaws on Saturday.
Zach Reget is on a 13-game goalscoring streak dating back to last season and leads the MASL with 21 goals for the Comets this campaign. After Reget, the Comets' scorers are spread out between John Sosa, Nacho Flores, Ray Lee and Leo Acosta with seven goals each while Mikey Lenis has six.
Since returning from injury last week, Robert Palmer is back at the top of the defensive charts with an MASL-leading 26 blocks in just six games. Nicolau Neto and Phillip Ejimadu have split time in goal during the past week, with Ejimadu's 76% save percentage edging out Neto's 75% this season.
Lalo Alonso (right thigh strain) is probable for Friday's contest after getting a rest on Tuesday in Monterrey. After starting the season 3-0 on the road, the two losses in Monterrey put the Comets' road record at 3-2 with a 1-1 record against Western Conference opponents after the Comets won the road game of a home-and-home series split with Texas.
The only previous meeting between these two sides came back in February 2022 when Chihuahua came from behind to win it 7-6 in overtime. Both teams will meet again at Cable Dahmer Arena on February 16.
The Savage are the reigning MASL champions, although the 2023-24 season has not played out as they had hoped. After a 2-0 start to their third season in the MASL, CUU went on a four-game losing streak against Monterrey. Following the final loss to Monterrey, the Savage appointed indoor veteran Genoni Martinez as head coach.
Martinez, who won the 2015 Ron Newman Cup as player-coach of Monterrey, kicked off his MASL return with a bang as his Savage side defeated the San Diego Sockers 5-1 on the road to end the CUU's four-game losing streak. Goalkeeper Diego Reynoso was clinging to a shutout until finally conceding 12:18 into the fourth quarter.
The Savage sit fourth in the West with a 3-4-0 record. They are 0-4 against Eastern Conference opponents with all four losses coming to Monterrey. CUU is 2-2 on home turf with their most recent home win coming on December 7 when they beat Texas 12-4.
Chihuahua is the lowest-scoring team in the Western Conference with just 43 goals in seven games. Hugo Puentes leads the Savage with nine points from six goals and three assists. Brayan Macias was the Comets' killer in the 2022 meeting in Kansas City, scoring the overtime winner for CUU. Macias has tallied three goals and three assists in six games this season.
After Friday's matchup, the Comets will visit Utica City FC on Sunday, January 28. The Comets return home for a back-to-back at Cable Dahmer Arena when they host the Tacoma Stars and Empire Strykers on February 9 and 10. Tickets are available at www.kccomets.com/tickets.