Monday, November 11, 2013
Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
2012-13 Record: 13-13
Playoffs: Runner-Up – Milwaukee, W 2-1; Baltimore, L 2-0
The Lowdown: The +Missouri Comets reached the MISL Championship Series for the first time since their return last season, defeating Milwaukee in dramatic fashion before falling to Baltimore. They enter the new season with a new head coach as former assistant Vlatko Andonovski takes over from Kim Roentved, and he will have a strong lineup that will aim for greater regular-season consistency as the Comets aim to go one step further.
Key Losses: The retirement of Ryan Junge will leave a gap to be filled in the Comets’ defensive rotation, with the experienced defender having recorded 26 points and 27 blocks while playing every game last season.
Key Returnees: Captain Vahid Assadpour and Leo Gibson are both back after earning All-League selections a year ago. Leading scorer Byron Alvarez is also set to return, while the defense will again be manned by Brian Harris, who tied Assadpour for the team-high with five 3-point goals a season ago. Danny Waltman will hope to have a more consistent year after posting a 12.92 goals-against average a season ago.
Key Additions: The return of 2012 MISL Most Valuable Player Geison will provide a welcome boost to the Comets’ attack, with the Brazilian aiming to replicate his performance two seasons ago that saw him finish with 90 points. Alex Megson has also joined the side, and could provide good secondary scoring after recording 25 points for Chicago last season.
Outlook: The Comets were outstanding when on song last season, but Andonovski will look for greater consistency in their performances, particularly on the road where Missouri was 4-9 last year. If they can tighten up defensively – only Rochester conceded more points than the Comets last season – there certainly should be enough firepower to challenge Baltimore and Milwaukee at the top of the regular season standings.