Kharlton Belmar vs. Orange County SC - Aug. 12, 2017
Nick Smith

Game Preview: Rangers look to strengthen hold of top-four finish against LA Galaxy II

With a playoff berth now secured, the Swope Park Rangers (15-7-6, 4th place) will host LA Galaxy II (7-16-5, 13th place) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Swope Soccer Village with Western Conference seeding at stake in the team’s final four regular season matches.

The Rangers currently sit six points behind league leaders Real Monarchs SLC, four points shy of expansion side Reno 1868 FC and one point back of San Antonio FC entering the first of two games for SPR in Week 28. The top four teams in the Western Conference will host the opening round of postseason play, which begins Oct. 20-22 with the Conference Quarterfinals.

Last season, SPR began the team’s run to the Western Conference Championship with a 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy II in the Western Conference Quarterfinals for the first of three postseason victories at Children’s Mercy Victory Field. Mark Anthony Gonzalez scored twice in the triumph during a 12-goal rookie season, which has now been matched by former USL Rookie of the Year Kharlton Belmar.

Belmar has scored in three straight games for the Rangers and is sixth in the USL with 12 goals this season, equaling his career high set in 2015 as a member of Portland Timbers 2. Joining Belmar with a breakout season of his own is 20-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Nansel Selbol, whose eight goals are the most of any under-23 player in the USL.

LA Galaxy II are mathematically eliminated from postseason contention after back-to-back losses amidst a four-game road trip. Justin Dhillon, who leads the team with six goals this season, returned from injury in their last outing, which also featured the club debut of 20-year-old goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg. The U.S. youth international signed with LA Galaxy II earlier this month from Fortuna Dusseldorf in Germany.

The visitors will be looking for their 50th victory in club history and first against the Swope Park Rangers, who are 3-0-0 in the all-time series including a 1-0 win on June 30 in California. Wednesday’s rematch will come three days after the senior teams met at Children’s Mercy Park in a 2-1 victory for Sporting Kansas City over the LA Galaxy.

Tickets for the mid-week match-up are available online at SeatGeek.com or at the venue box office prior to kick off. The first 200 fans in attendance on Youth Soccer Night will receive an SPR player poster. The first 100 posters will be autographed editions and ticket holders can also participate in a pre-game autograph session with FC Kansas City defender Yael Averbuch.

Game 29
Date:
 Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, Mo.)

Swope Park Rangers: 15-7-6 (51 points), 4th in Western Conference
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City

LA Galaxy II: 7-16-5 (26 points), 13th in Western Conference
MLS Affiliate: LA Galaxy

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

SOCIAL TAGS
Game-specific hashtag: 
#SPRvLA

Swope Park Rangers
Twitter: @SwopeRangers
Instagram: @SwopeParkRangers

LA Galaxy II
Twitter: @LAGalaxyII
Instagram: @LAGalaxyII

GAME NOTES

 
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