After battling from behind to secure a 1-1 home draw against FC Tulsa last week, the bright Friday night lights will shine on Sporting Kansas City II (4-14-8, 20 points) once again as the club welcomes Central Division counterparts Birmingham Legion FC (14-7-5, 47 points) to world-class Children’s Mercy Park.
The USL Championship showdown will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and stream live on ESPN Plus, marking the third time these teams have locked horns this season.
Under the guidance of fourth-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, Sporting KC II erased a first-half deficit to claim a point last Friday as 19-year-old academy product Kayden Pierre opened his professional scoring account. The Sporting KC Homegrown Player hammered home an excellent goal in the 65th minute to restore parity after Dario Suarez had given Tulsa an early lead from the penalty spot.
Pierre is one of several Sporting KC Academy products or MLS loannees who have enjoyed strong USL Championship campaigns in 2021, joining the likes of industrious midfielder Jake Davis, goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, center back Graham Smith and rookie winger Grayson Barber.
On the opposite sideline, Tom Soehn has coached Legion FC to second place in the Central Division, a single point behind leaders Louisville City FC. Forward Nico Brett has pieced together a brilliant season with 15 goals, while Junior Flemmings and J.J. Williams have added five each.
Birmingham has won both previous meetings with SKC II this season, prevailing 4-2 at home on Aug. 11 and 1-0 at Children’s Mercy Park on Sept. 1. The sides will meet again on the penultimate weekend of the season, locking horns on Oct. 24 in Birmingham.
USL Championship: Match 27
Date: Friday, Oct. 1
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Children's Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kansas)
Live Stream: ESPN Plus
Sporting Kansas City II: 4-14-8, 20 points (8th place in Central Division)
Birmingham Legion FC: 14-7-5, 47 points (2nd place in Central Division)
Match-specific hashtag: #SKCvBHM