The Swope Park Rangers (9-7-5, 6th place) would draw with Rio Grande Valley FC (2-6-11, 15th place) at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday evening. This match would break the Rangers three-game losing streak and conclude their slate of five games in 18 days.
In the third minute, Sporting KC Academy product Felipe Hernandez passed the ball to Tyler Blackwood, who would get a great left-footed shot off, but it would be stopped by RGV goalie Nicolas Corti. Hadji Barry then had a chance in the fourth minute assisted by Matheus Silva, but his shot was blocked by a RGV defender.
Christian Herrera made two spectacular saves in the eighth minute worthy of SportsCenter Top 10 when he made a diving save off a Jordan Jones shot and then saved a close-range attempt by Connor Donovan while still on his side before finally punching the ball away from the goal.
Chase Minter would take a cross from Blackwood in the 19th minute, but his touch would go to the left of the goal. Herrera would take another shot from Jones in the 20th minute and would come up with the save.
The post was not RGV’s friend in Sunday's match. In the 29th minute, Pablo Aguilar would take a free kick from outside the box, but it would ping off the left post. In the third minute of stoppage time of the first half, another shot from Aguilar would zing off the left post.
In the 47th minute, Hernandez would take a shot, but Corti would be there to make the stop. In the 60th minute, Sporting KC loanee Amer Didic would send a header to Blackwood, but Blackwood’s touch would go to the left of the goal and the flag would be raised for offside.
RGV’s Eric Bird would take a right-footed shot from outside the box, but Herrera was there to make the save in the 65th minute. In the 71st minute, Sporting KC loanee Kharlton Belmar would take a shot, but it would go to the right of the goal. Dakota Barnathan would take his chance in the 76th minute, but it would miss to the left of the goal.
Herrera would come up with two more saves in second half stoppage time off Aldo Quintanilla attempts to keep his clean sheet. Herrera would end with seven saves and the match would end scoreless in a 0-0 draw.
The Rangers have a 10 day rest after having five games in 18 days. They return to play on the road against LA Galaxy II (5-10-4, 14th place) on Wednesday, August 1 at 9:30 p.m. CT. SPR will return home to Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. CT to face Portland Timbers FC 2.
Christian Herrera picked up his second start of the season and his first clean sheet in Sunday's match. The 21-year-old had seven saves on the night with two spectacular saves in the eighth minute. With tonight’s clean sheet, it brings his goals against average to 1.00.
Swope Park Rangers vs Rio Grande Valley FC
July 22, 2018 – Children’s Mercy Park
Swope Park Rangers 0, Rio Grande Valley FC 0
Swope Park Rangers: Christian Herrera; Bryam Rebellon, Parker Maher, Amer Didic ©, Dakota Barnathan; Matheus Silva (Matt Lewis 61’), Felipe Hernandez (Sebastian Cruz 74’), Chase Minter; Hadji Barry, Kharlton Belmar, Tyler Blackwood