In October 2015, the Swope Park Rangers were founded as the USL Championship affiliate of Sporting Kansas City. Almost four years later, the team continues to be a place for youthful talent within Sporting Kansas City’s professional pathway to showcase their abilities.
Academy in Action
Among the 30 players to feature for the Rangers in 2019, 13 have come from the Sporting KC Academy system. These Academy products have combined for 3,933 minutes in the USL Championship, accounting for 33% of SPR’s total minutes played. They have also chipped in five goals (Felipe Hernandez has four, Wilson Harris has one) and three assists (Hernandez two, Jake Davis one).
Another key function for the Rangers this year has been welcoming Sporting KC players on loan, as 11 MLS players have started for SPR this season and accounted for 2,717 total minutes.
Eight of the club’s 11 matches this year have featured a Sporting KC loanee in goal. Eric Dick has made four appearances, totaling a team-best 24 saves. Adrian Zendejas has also made four appearances and collected 12 saves.
Rounding Out the Squad
The final aspect of the Rangers squad consists of players under USL Championship contracts. This group consists of 11 players totaling 5,097 of the squad’s minutes. So far, they’ve chipped in seven goals and assisted on eight. John Pulskamp, 18, is part of this group and has a 1-0-1 record in his two appearances.
An Emphasis on Youth
Eleven matches into the 34-game season, the Rangers have proudly fielded a team of young players with bright futures. A total of 30 different players have made appearances for the SPR and just as many have had the chance to start. There have been 11 different starting lineup combinations with an average age of 20.9 years. That’s right—the average age of the starters is unable to go to No Other Pub for adult beverages after their matches.
This young team has been extremely competitive all year, as seven of their 11 matches have been decided by one goal or less. The team has earned three results in their last three home matches and will look to continue their Children’s Mercy Park success Wednesday against D.C. United affiliate Loudon United FC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT with tickets available at SeatGeek.com.
Swope Park Rangers: By The Numbers
Through first 11 USL Championship matches in 2019
- 20.9 – Average age of starters
- 11 – Different starting lineup combinations
- 30 – Players who have appeared (and started) in a match
- 13 – Sporting KC Academy products who have appeared (and started) in a match
- 33% – Rangers minutes played by Sporting KC Academy products
Swope Park Rangers Player Breakdown
Sporting KC Academy Products
- Minutes: 3,933
- Games: 59 (13 different players)
- Starts: 45 (13 different players)
- Goals: 5 (Felipe Hernandez 4, Wilson Harris 1)
- Assists: 3 (Felipe Hernandez 2, Jake Davis 1)
- Games: 1 (Max Trejo)
- Starts: 1
- Minutes: 90
- Saves: 5
- Goals allowed: 4
Sporting KC Loanees
- Minutes: 2,717
- Games: 33 (11 players)
- Starts: 31 (11 players)
- Goals: 3 (Kelyn Rowe, Rodney Wallace, Abdul Rwatubyaye)
- Assists: 0
- Games: 8 (Eric Dick 4, Adrian Zendejas 4)
- Starts: 8 (Eric Dick 4, Adrian Zendejas 4)
- Minutes: 720
- Saves: 36 (Dick 24, Zendejas 12)
- Goals allowed: 19
USL Championship Players
- Minutes: 5,097
- Games: 74 (11 players)
- Starts: 56 (11 players)
- Goals: 7 (Jerome Ngom Mbekeli 2, Rassambek Akhmatov 1, Alexsander 1, Camden Riley 1, Mark Segbers 1, Ethan Vanacore-Decker 1).
- Assists: 8 (Alexsander 3, Killian Colombie 2, Jerome Ngom Mbekeli 2, Mark Segbers 1)
USL Championship Goalkeepers
- Games: 2 (Jon Pulskamp)
- Starts: 2
- Minutes: 180
- Saves: 6
- Goals allowed: 3