The Swope Park Rangers earned a 2-1 victory over LA Galaxy II at Swope Soccer Village on Saturday night. After falling behind in just the second minute to a goal from Bradford Jamieson IV, the Rangers hit back before the break with goals from Christian Duke and Mark Anthony Gonzalez to claim all three points and keep pace in the playoff chase.
The Rangers (9-9-6, 33 pts.) got off to a slow start and fell behind in the second minute. Bradford Jamieson IV cut inside from the left wing and dribbled at the SPR defense before lashing the ball into the bottom corner to give his side an early 1-0 lead.
Galaxy II (9-6-9, 36 pts.) kept pushing early in the game and twice went close with Jamieson IV flashed a low ball across goal that just evaded several teammates in the box, before Jose Villarreal curled a free kick straight into the arms of SPR debutant goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.
In the 16th minute, the Rangers found their equalizing goal. Ayrton tricked his way past his marker down the left before floating in a cross with his weaker right foot that captain Christian Duke headed into the corner. It was the Overland Park, Kan. native’s first goal of the season, having become the club’s first-ever signing in November 2015. Ayrton’s assist moved him into a tie for the team-lead, matching Kevin Oliveira’s tally of four.
The Rangers scored what would become the winning goal in the 25th minute. Tommy Meyer brought the ball forward from right back and clipped in a delightful cross that Mark Anthony Gonzalez headed in at the far post for his team-leading eighth goal of the season to make the score 2-1.
The Rangers almost added to their lead in the 41st minute when Tyler Pasher whipped in a cross that Gonzalez just couldn’t turn on frame from inside the area as SPR held their lead into halftime.
SPR’s dangerous front line fashioned another opening in the 53rd minute when Gonzalez beat the LA offside trap, held off a challenge from Payeras and laid the ball off to Dane Kelly, but the Jamaican could only direct his shot over the bar from 15 yards.
Three minutes later, Amer Didic produced a goal-saving block when he denied Ethan Zubak a tap-in with a goalline clearance after LA had played their way through the SPR defense. LA went close again in the 61st minute but Villarreal couldn’t direct his effort on target when well placed.
The Rangers began soaking up more and more pressure as the half wore on, with Galaxy II substitute Ariel Lassiter firing wide after meeting a low cross in the 77th minute. LA center back Lee Nishanian got his head on a corner in the 84th minute, but could only send his effort over the bar as the clock ticked down.
LA would have one final opportunity when Jamieson IV was left alone at the back post following a free kick, but he bundled his finish wide as the Rangers saw out the 2-1 win and improved to 7-3-1 at home.
Man of the Match presented by Courtyard Overland Park Metcalf
- Christian Duke – The Rangers captain scored his first goal for the club to level the score in the 16th minute, while LA struggled to build through the midfield due to the 25-year-old’s energy and tackling.
- The Swope Park Rangers continue their homestand when they host San Antonio FC at Swope Soccer Village on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, with a live stream available on SportingKC.com and tickets available via Ticketmaster.
Swope Park Rangers vs. LA Galaxy II
August 27, 2016 – Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)
Swope Park Rangers 2, LA Galaxy II 1
LA – Bradford Jamieson IV 1 (Jose Villarreal) 2’
SPR – Christian Duke 1 (Ayrton 4) 16’
SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez 8 (Tommy Meyer 2) 25’
LA – Jose Villarreal (Yellow Card) 43’
LA – Oscar Sorto (Yellow Card) 45+
SPR – Ayrton (Yellow Card) 48’
LA – Ethan Zubak (Yellow Card) 56’
LA – Jaime Villarreal (Yellow Card) 68’
SPR – Dane Kelly (Yellow Card) 80’
SPR – Adrian Zendejas (Yellow Card) 90+
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Tommy Meyer (Johnny Grant 78’), Amer Didic, Oumar Ballo, Tyler Pasher; Ualefi, Christian Duke ©, Ayrton (Alex Molano 67’); Kris Tyrpak (Nansel Selbol 35’ (Will Little 85’)), Dane Kelly (Akeil Barrett 81’), Mark Anthony Gonzalez.
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Tomas Granitto.
STATS: Shots 7, Shots on Goal 2, Corners 0, Fouls 15
LA Galaxy II: Clement Diop; Nathan Smith (Bryam Rebellon 89’), Jefrey Payeras, Lee Nishanian, Oscar Sorto (Adonis Amaya 85’); Ryo Fujii (Alejandro Covarrubias 66’), Jaime Villarreal ©, Raul Mendiola, Jose Villarreal (Ariel Lassiter 66’), Bradford Jamieson IV; Ethan Zubak (Denzel Slager 76’).
Substitutes Not Used: Eric Lopez, Bradley Diallo.
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Goal 6, Corners 3, Fouls 13
Referee: Kyle Burkhardt
Assistant Referees: Justin Mack and Bryce Bockin
Fourth Official: Kevin Diemer
Weather: Cloudy and 82 degrees