One week after Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake met in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, both teams’ USL sides will face off as the Swope Park Rangers (6-3-4, 6th place) host Real Monarchs (10-2-1, 1st place) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.
The mid-week match will feature the back-to-back Western Conference champion Rangers hosting last year’s regular season champions and current USL leaders Real Monarchs. Tickets for the game are available online at SeatGeek.com or at the stadium box office prior to kick off.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers are coming off a 1-0 road win at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday. Hadji Barry scored his fifth goal of the season in the victory and is now one of only six USL players to have scored or assisted on nine goals this season.
Most Combined Goals and Assists in USL
12 Emmanuel Ledesma, Cincinnati (5g, 7a)
10 Kharlton Belmar, Swope Park Rangers (8g, 2a)
10 Thomas Enevoldsen, Orange County (7g, 3a)
9 Solomon Asante, Phoenix (5g, 4a)
9 Hadji Barry, Swope Park Rangers (5g, 4a)
9 Neco Brett, Pittsburgh (6g, 3a)
The Rangers logged the club’s fifth clean sheet of the season – and fourth in the past six games – on Saturday with a defensive effort anchored by rookie goalkeeper Eric Dick, who lowered his goals against average to 0.75 with four saves, and rookie centerback Graham Smith, who recorded a game-high 10 clearances and four interceptions. Both players were selected by Sporting KC in the first round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and played alongside five Sporting KC Academy products in the win.
While the Rangers have utilized a total of 30 players this season, including 14 on loan from Sporting Kansas City, the Monarchs have featured 32 players during their 2018 USL campaign. Defender Kalen Ryden, the team’s leading scorer with four goals, and midfielder Justin Portillo, who has contributed four assists, have appeared in every match this season.
The Monarchs’ 31 points through 13 games have the team on pace to break the USL regular season record and include a 4-1 victory over the Rangers last month in Utah. Kharlton Belmar opened the scoring with his league-leading eighth goal of the season, however the Monarchs rallied behind a brace from Ryden to remain unbeaten all-time against SPR.
Real Monarchs, who have allowed only one goal in their past five games, enter Wednesday’s fixture with eight days rest after a 2-0 home win over Rio Grande Valley FC on June 4. The visitors will now be looking to snap the Rangers’ 13-game home unbeaten streak dating back to last August.
All the action in USL Week 14 will be streamed live on ESPN+ and in-game updates from #SPRvSLC will be available via the USLsoccer.com Match Center.
Game 14 of 34
Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Location: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Swope Park Rangers: 6-3-4 (22 points, 6th place in Western Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Real Monarchs: 10-2-1 (31 points, 1st place in Western Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Real Salt Lake
Game Notes: Click here
Live Stream: ESPN+
Talent: Carter Augustine (play-by-play) and Sam Kovzan (analyst)
Game-specific hashtag: #SPRvSLC
Swope Park Rangers