by Pete Richmire/Comets

ALLEN, TX. –  The Comets (6-0) led this one wire-to-wire, outshooting the Dallas Sidekicks (3-4) by a 30-16 margin to pick up a 9-3 win on the road and remain undefeated for the 2021-22 campaign. The loss snaps the Sidekick’s three-game win streak and is the first defeat under interim coach Ricardinho Cavalcante.

The Comets started off the game with a solid first quarter in which they held the Sidekicks to just four shots. Kansas City only took six themselves, but two beat Dallas goalkeeper Juan Gamboa, beginning with Leo Gibson. Gibson was at the left post following a shot by John Sosa and tapped in the rebound to give the Comets a 1-0 lead with 11:16 to play in the first.

The second goal was a beautiful solo effort by James Togbah. He took the ball from just outside the yellow line and after a double step-over, fired with his left foot into the lower right-hand corner of the goal for a 2-0 advantage with 3:12 on the clock in the first.

An unassisted goal by Sebastian Mendez, his third of the season for Dallas, cut the Kansas City lead to 2-1 with 9:17 remaining in the half.

The Comets answered back after Kansas City keeper Nicolau Neto sent the ball in off the end dasher boards and Matt Lewis followed it in beating Gamboa from the right side to make it a 3-1 score with 6:22 to go in the second.

The Sidekicks had a great opportunity to pick up their second goal late in the second. With Neto way off his line and on the ground, Dallas rushed the goal and only an incredible save by Ray Lee kept the lead at two. He stuck out his right foot to re-direct a shot that was headed low-center into the goal.

Eventually, Julio Varela did steal the ball deep in the Comets defensive zone and found the back of the net to again cut Kansas City’s lead to just one, at 3-2 with just over two minutes to go until the break.

Gibson used a flick pass over his shoulder to find Christian Anderaos streaking for the goal, and Anderaos used that pass to net his first career MASL goal and give the Comets a 4-2 lead, which they took to the locker room.

It was a fast-paced third quarter which seemed uneventful until the first power play opportunity of the game went to the Comets. With Kristian Quintana in the box for a blue and yellow card, the Sidekicks managed to just fend off the Comets power play unit. After the penalty expired however, Sosa fed Sousa the ball on the left side, and a rocket-strike found the upper-90 corner for a 5-2 Comets lead.

With just 10 seconds to go in the third, the Sidekicks used a quick restart to get Stephen Gonzales’ first goal of the season and the teams headed to the fourth quarter with the Comets holding a 5-3 lead.

The Comets used the wall and some tic-tac-toe passing from Sosa to Rian Marques, who sent the ball in from right in front of the goal line to give Kansas City a 6-3 just 20 seconds into the final quarter of play.

A blue card to Mike Da-Silva with 14:00 left gave the Sidekicks a chance with a man-advantage. The Comets got more shots on goal during the Dallas power play however, as their defense continued to be tough all night.

As good as Kansas City’s defense was, the offense was playing at top-level as well. Marques and Lee scored goals 30 seconds apart to put the Comets in front 8-3 with 2:33 to play. They still were not done.

Lesia Thetsane found a wide-open Da-Silva with a cross-field pass, and Da-Silva sent the ball past Gamboa for the final goal of the game, and a 9-3 Kansas City lead.

To go with his assist, Neto stopped nine shots on his way to his sixth win of the season. Gamboa picked up 16 saves, several spectacular in the losing effort for Dallas.

Kansas City is next in action this Friday on the road in St. Louis before beginning a home and home series with the Tacoma Stars.


1st – KC Gibson (Sosa) 3:44; KC Togbah 11:48. Penalties – None.

2nd– DAL Mendez 5:42; KC Lewis (Neto) 8:40; DAL Varela 12:54; KC Anderaos (Gibson) 14:12. Penalties – None.

3rd – KC Sousa (Sosa) 11:52; DAL Gonzales 14:50. Penalties – DAL Quintana (yellow- major penal penalty).

4th – KC Marques (Sosa) 0:19; KC Marques 11:57; KC Lee 12:25; KC Da-Silva (Thetsane) 13:36. Penalties – KC Da-Silva (blue- dangerous play) 1:00.

Shots – Comets 6-9-6-9 (30), Sidekicks 4-4-3-5 (16)

Attendance – 1,361