Preview: Rangers host Orange County on Wednesday in clash of top scorers in USL

Swope Park Rangers vs. Orange County SC - July 18, 2018

The Swope Park Rangers (9-6-4, 6th place) will host Orange County SC (10-6-3, 5th place) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park in a mid-week match that could feature two of the top scorers in the USL this season.

Kharlton Belmar, on loan from Sporting Kansas City, has scored nine goals in 10 USL appearances this season, while Danish World Cup veteran Thomas Enevoldsen leads the league with 10 goals in 19 games since joining Orange County SC in February.

Tickets for Wednesday’s match are available online at SeatGeek.comand the first 500 fans in attendance will receive USA Rangers socks courtesy of the club.

The USL Week 19 clash comes with Orange County SC and SPR separated by just two points in the Western Conference standings and will also be highlighted by the return of Sporting KC Academy products Christian Duke and Joe Amico to Kansas City. Duke was the Rangers’ first-ever signing and captained the club to back-to-back USL Cup appearances, while Amico began his professional career with SPR last season.

Duke is one of nine players on Orange County’s roster with MLS experience, including five players currently on loan from three different MLS sides. Orange County SC has conceded the fewest goals in the Western Conference thanks to the stellar play of New York City FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls, who leads the Western Conference with seven clean sheets.

However, Rawls has missed the team’s last three matches and, in his place, Orange County SC acquired LAFC goalkeeper Luis Lopez on loan last week. The Honduran international made his debut on Saturday in a 3-0 victory over San Antonio FC as Orange County now boasts the best goal difference in all of the USL with 17 more goals scored than conceded.

Among the visitors’ top performers, Aodhan Quinn has played every minute for Orange County SC in 2018 and leads all USL players with 1,269 passes. Orange County SC head coach and Wichita, Kansas, native Braeden Cloutier also bolstered his backline last month with the additions of former MLS All-Star Kevin Alston and English Premier League veteran Jos Hooiveld.

Both teams will be missing players because of suspensions on Wednesday. SPR midfielder Matheus Silva received his fifth yellow card of the campaign on Saturday and will miss the match due to caution accumulation. Orange County SC defender Alex Crognale, on loan from Columbus Crew SC, is a serving a three-game suspension issued by the USL’s Independent Discipline Panel.

The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers FC 2 on Saturday that saw the club drop back-to-back games for the first time since May 2017. Eighteen-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Wilson Harris scored his second goal of the season in the defeat and Sporting KC loanee Colton Storm logged his team-leading fourth assist.

Wednesday’s match will be streamed live on ESPN+ and in-game updates from Children’s Mercy park will also be available via the Match Center.

Game 20 of 34
Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)

Swope Park Rangers: 9-6-4 (31 points, 6th place in Western Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City

Orange County SC: 10-6-3 (33 points, 5th place in Western Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Los Angeles FC

Game Notes: Click here

Live Stream: ESPN+

Game-specific hashtag: #SPRvOC

Swope Park Rangers
Twitter: @SwopeRangers
Instagram: @SwopeParkRangers

Orange County SC
Twitter: @OrangeCountySC
Instagram: @OrangeCountySoccer