Swope Park Rangers team huddle - SPR vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC - March 23, 2019

Following a Week 4 bye, the Swope Park Rangers (0-1-1, 17th place) continue their USL Championship campaign on Saturday, hosting Bethlehem Steel FC (1-2-1, 11th place) in the second match of a three-game homestand at world-class Children's Mercy Park. The fixture will serve as the inaugural meeting between two clubs that entered the league in 2016.


Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN+. General admission tickets for the Eastern Conference clash are available at SeatGeek.com or at the stadium box office beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT on matchday.


The Rangers earned their first point of the season in their most recent outing on March 23, battling to a 2-2 home draw with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC as both sides struck twice in the final 20 minutes. Tobi Adewole gave Pittsburgh a 71st-minute lead, but SPR responded with two unanswered goals from Sporting Kansas City loanees Rodney Wallace and Kelyn Rowe in the 83rd and 88th minutes. The hosts were denied victory in the late stages, however, as Anthony Velarde’s penalty kick in the 91st minute restored parity split the points.


Head coach Paulo Nagamura fielded a formidable Rangers lineup against Pittsburgh, giving starts to seven players on loan from Sporting Kansas City. This time around, however, the MLS team is busy navigating a crowded stretch of regular season and Concacaf Champions League matches. As a result, Nagamura could lean on a more youthful squad versus Bethlehem. Killian Colombie was among the SPR contingent who performed admirably on March 23, coming off the bench to record the go-ahead assist to Rowe.

SPR's early-season momentum has been saddled by two off-weekends throughout March, but Saturday marks the start of a two-month period in which the Rangers play at least once during each USL Championship matchweek.


Led by fourth-year head coach Brendan Burke, Bethlehem Steel FC are looking to improve upon a 2018 campaign that saw the side record franchise-bests in conference finish (sixth), regular season wins (14) and points (50). Burke, whose tenure began when the club was founded in late 2015, guided Bethlehem to the Eastern Conference Semifinals before falling to eventual USL Cup champions Louisville City FC.


Serving as the USL Championship affiliate of the Philadelphia Union, Bethlehem have collected just one point from their last three matches after opening the 2019 season with a 2-0 triumph over expansion side Birmingham Legion FC. The team suffered consecutive 1-0 home losses to North Carolina FC and Memphis 901 FC, respectively, before duplicating SPR's most recent result with a 2-2 tie versus Pittsburgh.


Bethlehem fell behind early in last Saturday's battle with the Riverhounds, but a pair of 18-year-old attackers lifted the hosts into a 2-1 lead as Faris Pemi Moumbagna and Michee Ngalina found the back of the net on either side of halftime. For the second straight weekend, Pittsburgh turned a 2-1 deficit into a 2-2 stalemate when Joseph Greenspan leveled on the hour mark.


Match Information


USL Championship: Game 3 of 34
Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CT
Location: Children's Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kansas)

Swope Park Rangers: 0-1-1 (1 point, 17th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City


Bethlehem Steel FC: 1-2-1 (4 points, 11th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Philadelphia Union


Match Notes: Click here

BROADCAST INFORMATION
Live Stream: ESPN+

SOCIAL TAGS
Game-specific hashtag: #SPRvBST

Swope Park Rangers
Twitter@SwopeRangers
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Bethlehem Steel FC
Twitter: @BSteelFC
Instagram@BSteelFC