Comets host Heat for primetime matchup

The Kansas City Comets (6-1-0) will take the primetime spotlight on Saturday when they kick off the 2024 portion of their schedule as they host the Harrisburg Heat (0-6-0) at Cable Dahmer Arena.

The Comets have started the season well, winning six of the first seven games, with the only slip-up coming against the Texas Outlaws on December 17. They are battling alongside the unbeaten Monterrey Flash and Utica City FC at the top of the Eastern Conference.

The Comets are coming from a two-game sweep of the St. Louis Ambush in a home-and-home series. John Sosa tallied three goals and an assist before a Cable Dahmer Arena crowd of 5,313 on December 28. Zach Reget stole the show in St. Louis on New Year's Eve with two assists and his third hat trick of the season.

Reget now leads the East with 20 points and 14 goals, pacing himself with a career-high 2.9 points per game. Additional assistance has come from John Sosa and Nacho Flores, who have combined for 23 points from 10 goals and 13 assists.

The Comets are still without defender Robert Palmer (right hip flexor) and forward Rian Marques (right thigh strain), though both are slowly returning to training activities.

The Comets have never lost to the Heat in the MASL, entering Saturday with a perfect 10-0 overall record and 4-0 at home versus the Heat. This will be the second and final Comets-Heat matchup of the regular season, with the Comets winning in Harrisburg 7-3 back on December 9.

Harrisburg is under the guidance of head coach Pat Healey for the fifth season. The winless Heat, who lost their first three road matches by a combined score of 33-16, will look for a major road upset on Saturday as they enter a hostile environment at Cable Dahmer Arena.

Harrisburg is coming off a 13-7 away loss to Utica City on New Year's Eve. The Heat went up 1-0 early before giving up eight straight before they finally answered in the third period. They went on a 4-0 run to end the game, cutting the 10-goal deficit to six.

Although Harrisburg's season has had a rough start, Dominic Francis and Joey Tavernese have been strong offensively. Francis, who spent 2021 with the Comets, is among the conference leaders with 12 points and nine goals. Tavernese is another veteran making an impact, recording 11 points and seven assists entering Saturday's matchup.

Harrisburg has conceded an MASL-leading 63 goals, although goalkeeper Grant Glorioso enters this week tied with Comets goalkeeper Nicolau Neto with an MASL-leading 85 saves.

Following Saturday's contest, the Comets will prepare for their final home game this month when they take on Utica City FC on Friday, January 12. That is followed by a six-game road trip until early February.