The Swope Park Rangers (15-11-8, 7th place) dominated LA Galaxy II with a 5-1 victory (10-17-7, 14th place) on Sunday at Children’s Mercy Park in the club's regular season finale. With the victory, the back-to-back Western Conference champions are headed back to the playoffs for a third straight year and will face Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Sacramento in the opening round.
In the fourth minute, Hadji Barry would have a great run and beat two defenders, but his shot was just high of the crossbar. Tyler Blackwood would have an attempt in the fifth minute, but LA goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg would make a save by getting a foot on it. In the ninth minute, Galaxy II forward Frank Lopez would take an attempt, but it would go to the right of the post.
Tomas Hillard-Acre of Los Dos would concede a foul and the referee would mark the spot for a free kick. Sporting KC loanee and Sporting KC Academy product Wan Kuzain would take the ball and find the back of the net to give SPR a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute with his League-leading third goal from a free kick this season.
Blackwood would put a head on the ball in the 29th minute, but it would be blocked by a Galaxy defender. Sporting KC loanee Kharlton Belmar would take a through ball from Amer Didic in the 34th minute and would put it past vom Steeg, extending SPR’s lead to 2-0.
Sporting KC Academy product Felipe Hernandez would then draw a foul in the penalty area. Barry would place the penalty past vom Steeg in the 65th minute for his 17th goal of the year, fourth most in the USL.
Hernandez would play a part in the next two goals, first sending a shot to the right corner of the goal to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead in the 76th minute.
Hernandez would then send a through ball to Wilson Harris in the 84th minute and Harris would slip it past the LA Galaxy goaltender to become the third different Sporting KC Academy product to score on Sunday as the Rangers matched the team's club record with five goals.
SPR’s 5-0 lead was short lived when Jorge Hernandez would beat Eric Dick in the 85th minute off an Efrain Alvarez assist. The final score would stand 5-1 and the Rangers now advance to playoffs to face No. 2 seed Sacramento Republic FC in a rematch of last year's Western Conference Semifinal.
Swope Park Rangers vs LA Galaxy II
October 14, 2018 – Children’s Mercy Park
Swope Park Rangers 5, LA Galaxy II 1
SPR – Wan Kuzain 3 (free kick) – 28’
SPR – Kharlton Belmar 10 (Amer Didic 2) – 34’
SPR – Hadji Barry 17 (Penalty Kick) – 65’
SPR – Felipe Hernandez 3 (unassisted) – 76’
SPR – Wilson Harris 3 (Felipe Hernandez 4) – 84’
LA -- Jorge Hernandez 1 (Efrain Alvarez 3) -- 85'
SPR – Colton Storm (Yellow Card) – 9’
LA – Tomas Hilliard-Acre (Yellow Card) – 27’
Swope Park Rangers: Eric Dick; Amer Didic, Graham Smith ©, Justin Bilyeu, Colton Storm; Wan Kuzain, Rassambek Akhmatov (Sebastian Cruz 70), Felipe Hernandez; Kharlton Belmar, Hadji Barry (Wilson Harris 74), Tyler Blackwood (Bryam Rebellon 79’)