Game Preview: Home playoff game at stake for SPR in regular season finale on Wednesday night

Tyler Pasher vs. LA Galaxy II - September 27, 2017

The Swope Park Rangers (16-8-7, 4th place) will take on Seattle Sounders FC 2 (9-17-4, 12th place) in the team’s regular season finale at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Swope Soccer Village with home field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs at stake.

A win on Wednesday would likely secure a top-four finish in the Western Conference for the second straight season and the right to host the Conference Quarterfinals when the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs begin Oct. 20-22. The Swope Park Rangers and Phoenix Rising FC are currently level on points in fourth place with identical records through 31 games, however SPR currently holds the goal differential tiebreaker that could prove decisive as each team hosts S2 to close out the regular season campaign.

Tickets for the mid-week match are available online at SeatGeek.com or at the venue box office prior to kick off and the first 500 fans in attendance on Fan Appreciation Night will receive a Swope Park Rangers playoff t-shirt. In addition, supporters inside Children’s Mercy Victory Field can enjoy $1 hot dogs and $2 beers until the 20th minute on Wednesday.

Under first-year head coach Nikola Popovic, SPR has built upon the club’s Western Conference championship in their USL debut a year ago with a sophomore season in which the team has conceded fewer goals per game and found the back of the net more often in 2017.

Club captain Christian Duke has played a pivotal role on both sides of the ball, leading the team in duels won (159), fouls suffered (60), tackles (59), passes (1,600) and assists (6) while not missing a single minute of action. Duke, an Overland Park, Kansas, native, is one of nine Sporting KC Academy products to feature for SPR this season.

Popovic and Duke lead a young SPR squad which, outside of Sporting KC loanees, has no players under contract with a first division league appearance in their careers. Nevertheless, the Rangers are the only club of the 12 USL teams operated by MLS franchises to qualify for the USL Cup Playoffs in 2016 and 2017.

The visiting Seattle Sounders FC 2 are winless in their past six matches and eliminated from postseason contention. Midfielder Zach Mathers leads S2 with 10 goals and four assists, while defensively the club has come into form late in the season with only eight goals conceded in their past eight games after allowing 48 goals in their opening 22 games.

Wednesday’s match will stream live on SportingKC.com and via the USLsoccer.com MatchCenter. In-game updates will also be available by following the Swope Park Rangers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Game 32
 Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)

Swope Park Rangers: 16-8-7 (55 points), 4th in Western Conference
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City

Seattle Sounders FC 2: 9-17-4 (31 points), 12th in Western Conference
MLS Affiliate: Seattle Sounders FC

Live Stream:
 The game will be broadcast on SportingKC.com and YouTube.com/USL
Talent: Carter Augustine (play-by-play), Sam Kovzan (analyst)

Game-specific hashtag: 

Swope Park Rangers
Twitter: @SwopeRangers
Instagram: @SwopeParkRangers

Seattle Sounders FC 2
Twitter: @SoundersFC2
Instagram: @SoundersFC2