A rematch of the 2017 USL Cup Final beckons Monday when the Swope Park Rangers and Louisville City FC lock horns in the USL Championship regular season for the first time. Kickoff at Children's Mercy Park is set for 7 p.m. CT and tickets are available at SeatGeek.com. The game will also stream live on ESPN+.
Monday's contest features a pair of teams that have advanced to the USL Championship every season since joining the league—Louisville since 2015 and the Rangers since 2016. SPR will aim to collect their first win of the 2019 campaign at the expense of a Louisville side that has won each of the last two USL Cup titles.
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers are hoping to bounce back from a 3-1 road loss to cross-state rivals Saint Louis FC last Saturday in which 20-year-old Brazilian left back Alexsander bagged the visitors' lone goal. Louisville, meanwhile, have won two straight matches under head coach John Hackworth, including Tuesday’s 2-1 triumph over expansion outfit Memphis 901 FC.
These teams have met just once previously, and on the grandest of USL Championship stages. The 2017 USL Cup Final was contested between SPR and Louisville at Louisville Slugger Stadium on Nov. 13, 2017. A tightly contested affair remained scoreless until the 88th minute when Cameron Lancaster’s late header off a Speedy Williams cross beat SPR goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas to give Louisville its first of two straight USL championships.
Last weekend's defeat to Saint Louis saw SPR midfielder and Sporting KC Academy product Felipe Hernandez tie a club record with his ninth career USL Championship assist. The 20-year-old Hernandez has been a bright spot for the Rangers in the early stages of 2019, recording a goal and two assists.
USL Championship: Game 7 of 34
Date: Monday, May 6, 2019
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Children's Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kansas)
Live Stream: ESPN+
Swope Park Rangers: 0-4-2 (2 points, 17th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Louisville City FC: 4-3-1 (13 points, 8th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: None