The Missouri Comets announced that defender Leo Gibson and goalkeeper Danny Waltman will both be returning for the 2012-13 season. The two fan favorites both signed one year deals and Comets head coach Kim Roentved couldn’t be happier. “This crazy free agency is not helping my blood pressure,” Roentved announced in the press conference Thursday.
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Gibson has been training with Sporting Kansas City most of the summer and looked fit and ready to get back to work. “It’s nice to be back,” Gibson stated. “It’s another one year; it’s just something I like to do. I love the organization, it’s nothing against them but I just believe in doing things one day at a time and just leaving the rest of it up to god. Hopefully it works out and they want me back again.”
While both Gibson and Waltman were pursued by the rest of the league as free agents, the most speculation was about Waltman possibly going to Baltimore.
“It was never that close,” Waltman related. “I wanted to be here, I’m a Comet. That’s basically what it came down to. With the free agency it got a little crazy, I’m sure Leo went through the same thing. You have all these teams offering you the world and everything sounds so great. All those other teams are unknowns; we know we have it great here.”
“I made the right decision to come back,” Waltman concluded. ”Just being back here and seeing the fans, the family again, so many things are moving in a positive direction.”
Baltimore had the best chance at Waltman
“I got a lot of phone calls, I didn’t really consider many,” confided Waltman. “I always said I would go to Baltimore when Sagu left but that was before this was happening. If this wasn’t around I would be there but like I said, I’m a Comet and that’s what it came down to. When I close my eyes and see myself running out for a game, I’m wearing a Comets’ jersey; I’m in this arena, that’s the bottom line.”
Baltimore lost their keeper over the summer when Sagu went to Dallas to coach and play for the Dallas Sidekicks as he prepares to wrap up his career leaving Waltman as the Blast’s main target to be signed. While Baltimore head coach Danny Kelly wanted a keeper of Waltman’s ability, he was sympathetic to Waltman returning to the Comets. “To be honest, Danny’s heart is in Missouri. It was the best decision for him to stay here,” Kelly confessed Sunday during the MISL Combine.
Waltman confident as season gets closer
“I think our team is the best,” Waltman relayed confidently. “With Craig (Rocastle) coming in and the two Danish National Futsal team players. I am a big Futsal believer now. So we’ve got two big Danish National Futsal kids going to bring the European game.” Waltman played with the U.S. Futsal team over the summer as they attempted to qualify for the Futsal World Cup and trained with teams in Brazil to stay sharp.
“The word is out; this is the place to play,” Waltman exclaimed just before leaving to get extra training with the keepers from the MISL combine.