Sedalia Soccer

Major League Soccer

The Missouri Comets will open up the new MASL season, renewing their rivalry with the Dallas Sidekicks in Allen, Texas tonight at 7:00 p.m.

The last we saw the Missouri Comets, they were partying in the Independence Events Center, celebrating their first ever Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) championship. Relaunching in 2010, the team had qualified for the playoffs every season, finally winning it all in their fourth season.
In the 223 days since their first title, a lot has changed in the indoor soccer world. Shortly after the championship series ended, six of the former MISL teams joined forces with teams from the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) to form the 23 team Major Arena Soccer League (MASL).
The Comets have been placed in the MASL's Central Division. Joining them will be former MISL rivals, Milwaukee Wave and St. Louis Ambush. Despite their new name, the Wichita B-52s will figure to be a strong rival again. Rounding out the division will be the Tulsa Revolution and 2014 PASL champion Chicago Mustangs.
As the Comets get set to start the season, they will have a chance to renew another old rivalry. In tonight's inaugural match of the new MASL, the Comets have traveled to Allen, Texas to face off against the Dallas Sidekicks. The Comets vs Sidekicks rivalry dates back to 1984, although this is the first time the two franchises will face off since 2004.
Dallas stormed into the PASL in 2013 and has amassed a 27-5 record since (including a 16-0 regular season home record). Indoor soccer legend Tatu, head coach of the Sidekicks, has assembled a strong squad. Former Baltimore Blast goalkeeper Sagu backstops the team which also features former MISL players Freddie Moojen and Fabinho.
Dallas' high powered offense was led last season by Nestor Hernandez, who is currently recovering from recent knee surgery and will be out until December. Moojen will be expected to pick up the scoring slack along with returning forwards, Jamie Lovegrove and Shaun David.
The Comets return much of the team that celebrated with the trophy back in March. Captain and assistant coach, Vahid Assadpour will lead an experienced and extremely talented team onto the pitch tonight.
Led offensively by Leo Gibson, he is joined on the front line by the ever exciting Ramone Palmer and the Haitian Sensation, Max Toulette. The strength of the midfield will come from Assadpour, Bryan Perez and Milan Ivanovic. Defensively, Brian Harris, Stefan Stokic and Coady Andrews will once again set up a brick wall along with John Sosa, Alain Matingou and Robert Palmer.
The new league brings some new rules, most notably a return to single point scoring. Regardless of where the shot originates from on the field, all goals will now count as one point. Also, any penalty will result in a shootout opportunity. If it is not converted, the shooting team wil have a two-minute man advantage.
The new MASL kicks off tonight at 7:00p.m. CT from Allen, Texas. Locally, fans will be able to watch with the Comets Nation fan club at Coach's Bar & Grill on 103rd & Wornall. The game will also be live-streamed at ESPN3.

Sporting KC are knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League following a 2-0 defeat in Costa Rica.
Sporting KC succumbed to the Purple Monster in San Jose, Costa Rica, falling 2-0 to Saprissa in their final match of the 2014-2015 Champions League.
With the win, Saprissa advanced on the away goal rule, eliminating Sporting Kansas City from the competition.
Saprissa gained the lead in the 22nd minute when Eric Kronberg saved the original Saprissa shot but Heiner Mora was there to poke it home for the Purple Monster.
The first half got worse for Sporting Kansas City in the 38th minute when Benny Feilhaber had to be subbed out due to an injury. What looked like a rolled ankle took the midfielder out for the rest of the match as he was replaced by Soony Saad at the next stoppage in play.
Only a few minutes later and the away side were forced to make another substitution due to injury. Igor Juliao, who was already suspended for Sunday's league match with New York Red Bulls, had to come off and was replaced by Jacob Peterson in the 44th minute, giving Sporting KC only one second half substitute to work with. They would carry a 1-0 deficit into the half but, at that point, they would have been through with that scoreline.
Saprissa tied the aggregate series just as the second half was underway. Ariel Rodriguez was on the other end of a short cross in the box, tapping in the pass just in front of goal. While the series was tied 3-3, Saprissa's goal at Sporting Park gave them an advantage on the away goal rule.
Sporting KC would not even register their first shot on goal until the 66th minute, when Soony Saad was able to get a shot off. With Saprissa already having an advantage on the away goal rule, Sporting were having trouble getting shots off. Now that they were sitting back to protect their lead, Sporting would only get one more shot on goal off, a weak header from Jacob Peterson that was right into the arms of the keeper.
Saprissa would maintain their lead all the way through the final whistle, booking their ticket to the 2014-2015 Champions League Quarterfinals.
Sporting go into their last MLS Regular Season game Sunday against New York before playing in the 2014 MLS Cup playoffs.
Follow along as Sporting KC attempts to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League.

The Teams

Sporting Kansas City
League: Major League Soccer (United States)
Record: 2-0-1
How they got here: Winner of 2013 MLS Cup
Manager: Peter Vermes (6th season)

Deportivo Saprissa

League: Primera División de Costa Rica

Record: 1-1-1

How they got here: 2014 Verano Champion

Manager: Rónald Alfonso González Brenes (2nd season)

Other Info

Date: October 23, 2014

Gametime: 9:00 pm central

TV: Fox Sports Plus

Location: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá, San Jose, Costa Rica

Sporting KC needs to simply not implode to advance tonight, but can home field advantage send Saprissa to the quarterfinals?
About the Teams
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City has a huge advantage coming into this game, up by three points and with a four-goal differential lead over Saprissa. Should Sporting advance, they can be seeded anywhere from the seventh to the second seed, both requiring either an extreme win or loss. They'll have Jorge Claros for this match, currently serving a three-game MLS suspension, as well as Igor Juliao, who is suspended Sunday against New York Red Bulls. Graham Zusi is suspended for this match due to yellow card accumulation.
Saprissa needs to win by three goals to advance tonight, but playing at home is the perfect place for a big win. Their home-field advantage is reputed over CONCACAF and have also won their last five league matches. They'll be missing defender Jordan Smith but other than that their lineup is at full strength. It would take a big win for the Purple Dragons to advance but after Olimpia advanced over Portland the other night, anything is possible.
Players to Watch
Sporting Kansas City- Toni Dovale
Toni has been Sporting Kansas City's MVP of the CONCACAF Champions League with three goals and a handful of assists, making his presence known in every game. With Graham Zusi out for this match, Toni is likely going to play and is going to be counted on for providing some offense on the wing. With Saprissa needing lots of goals, they are going to be exposed down the wing, enough for Dovale to take advantage and set up some offense.
Saprissa- Adolfo Machado
Machado is likely going to step in for Smith on defense, seeing as he did in their last league game where Smith was suspended for a red card. Saprissa cannot afford to give up any goals after falling 3-1 to Sporting in Kansas City, so the defense will need to step up big at home. By creating a wall, the defense takes away Sporting's pressure and gives their forwards chances to score some goals against a tattered Sporting KC defense.
How to Win
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting doesn't need to win this match, although it would be preferable for seeding purposes considering the quality of teams in the middle of the pack. They could skate by with a result or even a close loss so what they need to do tonight is to, essentially, be careful. Still play the high-pressure offense, still attack well but don't overreach and allow Saprissa to steal a couple of quick goals. Playing on the road in Costa Rica is hard enough, Sporting just can't allow Saprissa any hope to get the three goals to advance.
Saprissa needs to force Sporting KC to sit back and fold under pressure. Three goals is a lot to ask for but Sporting KC's defense is tired and tattered. There's still a debate as to whether Lawrence Olum or Matt Besler will start at centerback, Jorge Claros hasn't played in a full match since September and Seth Sinovic cannot afford a yellow card or he'll miss the first leg in 2015. Saprissa needs to build up the attack and take advantage of every single weakness in Sporting KC's defense. If they don't, they won't advance. It's that simple.
Sporting KC: Kronberg; Juliao, Collin, Olum, Sinovic; Claros, Lopez, Feilhaber; Saad, Dwyer, Dovale
Saprissa: Carvajal; Machado, Delgado, Badilla, De Leon; Soto, Bustos, Russell, Arauz, Araya; Colindres