emerged from a terminal Monday at Kansas City International Airport holding the championship trophy in his right hand. His teammates followed closely, all of them wearing medals around their necks.
After spotting a group of fans waiting in the lobby, St. Louis raised the trophy, igniting a championship chant from the crowd.
Kansas City’s latest soccer champions returned home in style, a day after they won a decisive third game against the Baltimore Blast and the Major Indoor Soccer League championship.
“The past 24 hours have been some of the best times of our lives,” said forwardLeo Gibson
, the MISL’s leading scorer this season. “It’s overwhelming. And it’s nice to share it with all these people because they deserve it, too.”
The Comets brought home the MISL championship trophy but may not defend it next season.
Team presidentBrian Budzinski
, also a part owner, said Monday that the Comets will explore the possibility of leaving the MISL next season, along with Baltimore, Syracuse and Rochester. All four teams saw their three-season commitments to the seven-team league end this season, allowing them to freely pursue other options.
“We told the league a year and a half ago that we’re committed to this league, but we need to see some sort of growth. We need you guys to step up and get more teams, basically,” Budzinski said. “They haven’t done enough to make us happy. The four of us, if we don’t see some sort of immediate changes, then we’re leaving.”
Budzinski stressed that the Comets will return next season, even if it’s not in the MISL.
If they depart from the league, the Comets’ most likely destination would appear to be the Professional Arena Soccer League, which currently includes 20 teams. The Comets are also surveying the possibility of starting a new league, along with select franchises from the PASL.
“We’re drawing up legal stuff for whatever option — whether it’s creating a new league, joining a current league, whatever it is,” Budzinski said. “We have options.”
The most likely of those, Budzinski said, would include the Comets playing in a much deeper league.
“I think it’s probably going to be 25 professional indoor soccer teams in one league next year, which would be very cool,” he said.