Kim Roentved looked at the thermometer on his dashboard and howled, “It’s so bleeping hot,” as he drove to Wichita Monday afternoon to visit with friends. “Thank goodness for air conditioning. How can it be this hot this early in the summer?”
Right now, the only thing the veteran coach might enjoy more than air conditioning is the Kansas City Comets new ownership group, as the Major Arena Soccer League team announced Monday that he had signed a contract that would extend his tenure as head coach through the 2019-20 campaign.
Roentved was the original coach of the Comets when the team was revived in 2010, guiding the team to the Major Indoor Soccer League championship round in 2013. After a stint away from the perennial playoff contender and former MISL championship squad, he took over again last season.
“We are excited to retain Kim as we look to build upon what he has helped to establish here in Kansas City,” new managing partner Colin Weaver said. “I’m excited to work with him to bring this team back to its championship caliber ways.”
Roentved, a native of Denmark, heads into the 2018-19 season with 100 games (regular season and playoffs) behind the bench for Kansas City.
“I am very excited for the upcoming season,” said Roentved, a former all-star defender with the Wichita Wings and Comets in the 1980s and 1990s. “I enjoyed working with Bud (former owner Brian Budzinski), and I met Collin and his group when they visited Kansas City last year and was very impressed with them.
“And Brian was impressed with them, too. They are a good fit for this team and I believe they are going to give me every opportunity to make this a championship team gain.”
The Comets were a disappointing 7-15 last year and missed the playoffs. They were missing many marquee players like captain Vahid Assadpour, all-star defender Brian Harris and goalie Stephen Paterson.
“The Comets are, and always will be, special to me,” Roentved said. “We had a rough go last season, but there were plenty of bright spots that we can build on and turn around our fortunes quickly.”
With the head coach in place, the Comets have already begun discussions to return key players for the upcoming season, like all-star forward Leo Gibson (who also served as an assistant coach last season), in addition to talking with new players about joining the team.
“I have a budget, a very generous budget, and it is going to be my responsibility to build the roster and I am very excited about that,” Roentved said. “So, if we have another bad season, you can point the finger at me, OK (laughing)? But hopefully, we will give our fans many things to cheer about this season.”