The Swope Park Rangers (6-18-8, 26 points) will travel east this weekend for their penultimate match of the 2019 USL Championship season, visiting two-time defending league champion Louisville City FC (15-8-9, 54 points) at 6 p.m. CT Saturday at Louisville Slugger Field.
The Eastern Conference clash will stream live on ESPN Plus as the Rangers and Louisville lock horns in a rematch of the 2017 USL Cup Final, which saw the Kentucky outfit emerge victorious in a cagey 1-0 affair.
Guided by second-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers took a narrow 2-1 loss to Ottawa Fury FC in their home finale on Tuesday night at Children’s Mercy Park. Portuguese winger Ze Pedro bagged a brilliant volley in the 85th minute to draw SPR level, canceling out a first-half penalty kick from Wal Fall, but former Rangers playmaker Kevin Oliveira stung his former club with an 89th-minute winner on an assist from former SPR striker Hadji Barry.
While the Rangers are eliminated from postseason contention, Louisville City have clinched a berth in the USL Cup Playoffs and will hope to win a third consecutive league championship. Head coach John Hackworth’s side currently occupies sixth place and will aim to bounce back from a 2-1 loss sustained on Tuesday at the hands of rivals Nashville SC.
The inaugural regular season meeting between the sides took place on May 6 at Children's Mercy Park. The Rangers prevailed in a 3-2 thriller that was delayed over an hour due to inclement weather, with Felipe Hernandez and Rassambek Akhmatov finding the net to give SPR a 2-0 halftime lead. Louisville rallied with a pair of unanswered second-half strikes courtesy of Magnus Rasmussen and Luke Spencer, but on-loan Sporting Kansas City defender Abdul Rwatubyaye headed home a dramatic 90th-minute winner as the Rangers secured their first victory of the year.
USL Championship: Game 33 of 34
Date: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019
Kickoff: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Louisville Slugger Field (Louisville, Kentucky)
Swope Park Rangers: 6-18-8 (26 points, 18th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Louisville City FC: 15-8-9 (54 points, 6th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: None
ESPN Plus Live Stream: Click here
USL Championship MatchCenter: Click here
Match Notes: Click here
Game-specific hashtag: #LOUvSPR
Swope Park Rangers
Louisville City FC