Led by fourth-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, Sporting Kansas City II (0-1-0, 0 points) will open the home portion of their 2021 USL Championship campaign on Friday when Central Division rivals OKC Energy FC (0-2-0, 0 points) visit Children’s Mercy Park.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN Plus. SKC II home matches at Children's Mercy Park will be held without fans in attendance until further notice.
Sporting KC II kicked off the 2021 season last Saturday with a 2-0 loss at FC Tulsa. Nagamura gave starts to eight Sporting KC Academy products and the team’s starting XI averaged just 20.1 years old. Center back Matt Constant and midfielder Jayvin Van Deventer made their professional debuts, as did Sporting KC loanees Grayson Barber and Ozzie Cisneros.
OKC have endured a slow start of their own, sustaining back-to-back home losses versus FC Tulsa and Atlanta United 2. The club is led by head coach John Pascarella, who previously served as Sporting Kansas City’s goalkeeper coach for eight seasons from 2009-2016.
SKC II won the lone meeting against OKC in 2020, posting a dominant 3-0 home win last August as forward Wilson Harris bagged an early brace and defender Danny Barbir added a late third goal. It was one of just two home games for SKC II in 2020. This year will see a return to normalcy, as Nagmura’s side will play 16 home fixtures and 16 away matches over the course of 2021.
USL Championship: Match 2
Date: Friday, May 7
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Children's Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Live Stream: ESPN Plus
Tickets: Closed to the public
Sporting Kansas City II: 0-1-0, 0 points (7th place in Central Division)
OKC Energy FC: 0-2-0, 0 points (8th place in Central Division)