After a week hiatus, the Swope Park Rangers (1-6-4, 7 points) welcome the new kids on the block Loudoun United FC (2-4-3, 9 points) to Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday. This will be the first of a two-game home swing for the Rangers and tickets are available at SeatGeek.com. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN+ and additional in-game updates on the USL Championship MatchCenter. Fans can also follow @SwopeRangers on Twitter for updates throughout the match.
Second-year head coach Paulo Nagamura and the Rangers have begun to find their footing in their first year in the Eastern Conference of the USL Championship. In their last three matches at home, they have earned at least one point. On Saturday, May 25, the Rangers were unable to hold off the first-place Tampa Bay Rowdies, losing a 1-0 heartbreaker in the 82 minute off a Leo Fernandes penalty.
Felipe Hernandez is the current goal leader for the Rangers, as he’s put the ball in the back of the net four times thus far. Cameroonian Jerome Ngom Mbekeli ranks second in goals with two. Leading the way in the assists category is defender Alexsander. The Brazilian has set up three goals and even scored one for himself.
Loudon United has found some road success in their inaugural season, as eight of their nine points have come in away games. Head coach Ryan Martin will be making his coaching debut for Loudoun United on Wednesday. Martin took over the head coaching job on Tuesday, May 28, after Richie Williams left Loudoun for a job with Bruce Arena and the New England Revolution. Despite this being his first game at the helm, Martin has been with D.C. United since 2017 when he was hired as their Academy Director.
Loudon United has scored 11 goals in their first nine games in 2019. Their top goal scorer is forward Kyle Murphy with three. Close behind with two is forward Orlando Sinclair. Defender Akeem Ward leads the team in assists with two. Three players on Loudoun United have one assist.
For the Rangers, youth has been a priority this season. The average age of all 11 starting lineups this year is 20.9 years. The Swope Park Rangers continue to be an excellent place for young talent, Sporting KC Academy products and Sporting KC loanees to showcase their abilities.
Mark Segbers (one goal, one assist) is one of many examples of this youth movement. At 23 years old, he’s one of the eldest players to feature for the Rangers this year. Segbers has started 10 of his 11 appearances and been an excellent outside back for SPR. Hernandez (four goals, two assists) has been a force in the midfield. The 20-year-old Academy product has started 10 matches and continues to be a threat in the middle of the pitch.
USL Championship: Game 12 of 34
Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kansas)
Live Stream: ESPN+
Swope Park Rangers: 1-6-4 (7 points, 17th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Loudoun United FC: 2-4-3 (9 points, 15th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: D.C. United