The Swope Park Rangers (4-2-3, 6th place) will conclude a three-game road trip with a visit to southern Texas to take on Rio Grande Valley FC (1-3-5, 13th place) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at H-E-B Park.
The Rangers’ five-game unbeaten run came to an end in a 4-1 loss at Real Monarchs on May 9 and Paulo Nagamura’s squad will now look to bounce back on Saturday amidst sweltering conditions as temperatures in the area reached 100 degrees on Thursday.
Kharlton Belmar continues to pace the Rangers, and all of the USL, with eight goals this season. The former USL Rookie of the Year is SPR’s all-time leading scorer with 23 goals and his 37 career USL goals are 10th most in league history.
Belmar is joined in the attack by Hadji Barry, who has a goal or assist in each of his past three games, and club captain Rodrigo Saravia, who has contributed two goals and two assists since arriving in the offseason.
The Rangers will be without 18-year-old forward Wilson Harris, who joined the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team for a pair of friendlies in Honduras. Harris is one of eight players aged 20 or younger to earn minutes with SPR this season, including the Sporting KC trio of 15-year-old Gianluca Busio, 18-year-old Jaylin Lindsey and 19-year-old Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal.
Rio Grande Valley FC enter Saturday’s encounter on a four-game unbeaten run, during which the club has kept three clean sheets. While SPR will be on the road for a fifth time in six games on Saturday, RGVFC are amidst a stretch with five of six games on their home field at H-E-B Park, which will host the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October.
RGVFC, like the Rangers, are under a third head coach in three seasons with the hiring of Gerson Echeverry from Seton Hall. His roster features several rookies from the college ranks, including Nico Corti (Stanford), Pablo Aguilar (Virginia), Manny Padilla (San Francisco), Zach Wright (North Carolina), Kyle Adams (San Diego), Mac Steeves (Providence), Bryce Marion (Stanford) and Jordan Jones (Oregon State).
Wright played in the Sporting KC Academy prior to attending UNC and signed a Homegrown Player contract with Sporting Kansas City after helping the Tar Heels reach the College Cup in 2016 and 2017. He signed with RGVFC in March and has made seven appearances for Rio Grande Valley FC in his first professional season.
Saturday’s match will be streamed live on ESPN+ and in-game updates will also be available via the USLsoccer.com Match Center.
Game 10 of 34
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: H-E-B Park (Edinburg, Texas)
Swope Park Rangers: 4-2-3 (15 points, 6th place in Western Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Rio Grande Valley FC: 1-3-5 (8 points, 13th place in Western Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Houston Dynamo
Game Notes: Click here
Live Stream: ESPN+
Game-specific hashtag: #RGVvSPR
Swope Park Rangers
Rio Grande Valley FC