National Professional Soccer League (1991-2001)
Born: September 1991 – The Atlanta Attack relocate to Kansas City, MO.
Died: 2001 – Re-branded as Kansas City Comets.
During the 1980′s Kansas City, Missouri was a hotspot for the growing sport of indoor soccer. The local Major Indoor Soccer League franchise, the Kansas City Comets, was so popular in the early part of the decade that they helped to drive the NBA’s Kansas City Kings out of town in 1985. The departure of the Kings and the lack of an NHL franchise made the Comets the only wintertime pro sports ticket in town starting in 1985, but the fortunes of the Major Indoor Soccer League started to fade by the late 1980′s. The MISL nearly folded in 1988 and by 1991 Comets attendance had fallen more than 50% from its peak of nearly 16,000 fans per game in 1984.
The Comets went out of business in July of 1991. Sensing an opportunity, a pair of novice sports investors from Rochester, New York, Chris Economides and Louis Gitsis, purchased the Atlanta Attack of the lower-budget National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) and quickly shifted the team to Kansas City in September 1991, two months after the collapse of the Comets. They retained the Attack name in Kansas City, but signed popular for Comets stars Gino Schiraldi and Jim Schwab to try and lure back disheartened Comets fans.
The Kansas City Attack spent their first season in the winter of 1991-92 at the smaller, cheaper Municipal Auditorium. The team was strong (26-14) and made it to the playoff semi-finals, but attendance languished at 3,050 fans per game, which was a far cry from the Comets days, and beneath the NPSL’s modest league-wide average of 3,600.
In 1992-93 the Attack returned to Kemper Arena and saw a 50% surge in attendance, but still nothing like the Comets’ days of the 80′s. Nevertheless, the team was terrific and advanced to 1993 NPSL Championship Series against the Cleveland Crunch. Fairweather Kansas City fans jumped on the bandwagon and a crowd of 12,134 turned out at Kemper Arena on April 30, 1993 to watch Kansas City claim its first indoor soccer title with a 19-7 victory over Cleveland in Game 5 of the 1993 NPSL Championship Series.
The Attack won a second championship following the 1996-97 NPSL season.
In the summer of 2001, the National Professional Soccer League disbanded and the surviving teams re-organized under the nostalgic Major Indoor Soccer League brand name. Attack owner Don Kincaid chose to play the 1980′s nostalgia card as well, dropping the Attack identity in favor of a revived Kansas City Comets name. The former Attack franchise played four more seasons under the Comets name before folding in September 2005. Kincaid lost a reported $15 million on the franchise between 1993 and 2005 according to The Kansas City Star.
==Attack Games on Fun While It Lasted==
|1994-95||11/27/1994||vs. Dayton Dynamo||W 19-5||Program|
|1994-95||1/22/1995||vs. St. Louis Ambush||L 23-12||Program|
|1995-96||2/24/1996||@ Cleveland Crunch||W 24-18||Program|