Sunday, January 11, 2015

Could the Comets Lose an Opponent?

It's not something that you see every year in a league, a team go under in the middle of the season. The MASL has already lost one team this year, Hidalgo La Fiera, resigned (or was forced out of the league depending on whose account you read) from the league back in December. That caused enough headaches for teams, specifically in the league's Southern Division, where Hidalgo had been 4-3 on the season.

Now the league looks like they could be dealing with a second team leaving the league. It started late last night, when Gordy Gurson, the Seattle Impact's captain and leading scorer tweeted "All good things gotta come to an end! #EndOfTheRoad."

The assumptions about the Tweet immediately went to questioning whether the Impact was folding after all the legal issues that owner Dion Earl has faced this year from members of the team's disbanded dance team and front office staff.

Those assumptions were confirmed by the Dallas Morning News in an article earlier today (that has since been removed) that the club would be ceasing operations in the MASL. Since then, the paper has published a correction stating that while their source was considered credible, Earl has decided on Sunday afternoon to not cease operations and has said as much to MASL commissioner, Kevin Milliken. Further information from up in Seattle seems to point to Earl looking to sell the team but that the value of the team is "hard to assess."

 Why does this matter to the Missouri Comets? Because Sunday, February 22nd, the Comets final home game of the season is supposed to be against that same Impact side. The team folding would leave the league and the Comets scrambling to find a replacement team for them to play. And it wouldn't be just the Comets as the Impact are supposed to play the St. Louis Ambush the day before.

There would seem to be a couple ways that the situation could break down for the final home game. The most hopeful option is that the Impact will travel and play in both games to close out their season. The second option would be that the Impact don't cease operations, but because of the finances aren't able to travel a team to both St. Louis and Missouri to end the season. In that case, a team of amateur players would play against the Comets as the Impact. (This could also be used if the team does cease operations as well.) The third option is that the Impact cease operations and the MASL is able to get another semi-local team to fill the Impact's place. With the Wichita B-52's and Tulsa Revolution playing games both Friday and Saturday night against each other and the Milwaukee Wave playing Saturday night, the "local" options for replacing the Impact would be pretty slim. Either the Comets and Ambush could face off two more times in a home and home, seeing each team play 21 games instead of the 20 scheduled, or maybe the Chicago Mustangs could fill one or both dates.

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