The Swope Park Rangers (3-13-6, 15 points) will go toe-to-toe with first-place New York Red Bull II (15-5-5, 50 points) on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com or at the stadium box office before kickoff.
Saturday’s contest between two MLS-affiliated teams will stream live on ESPN Plus. Follow @SwopeRangers on Twitter or check out the USL Championship MatchCenter for live updates and statistics throughout the contest.
Paulo Nagamura and the Rangers have lost four straight and are looking to recapture some of their Children’s Mercy Park magic again. All but two of SPR’s 15 points have come at home in 2019, and they are 2-2-1 in their last five games at home.
In their last contest, the Rangers faced Atlanta United 2 on the road. Despite SPR firing more shots on goal, Atlanta outlasted the visitors by a 2-1 score line. After a goalless first half, Jackson Conway opened the scoring in the 58th minute. Atlanta doubled their lead in the 74th, but the Rangers would not go down without a fight. Wilson Harris beat Brendan Moore in the 87th minute on a Jake Davis assist to cut the lead in half.
These two teams met in the first game of the season on March 9. New York peppered the Rangers all game with 23 shots, including 15 on goal. Eric Dick made a career-high 12 saves and Felipe Hernandez opened his scoring account for 2019. New York’s onslaught of shots proved to be too much, and the Rangers dropped the season opener 3-1.
Five months later, the two teams meet again. New York’s prolific attack against SPR was not an anomaly. They have a 12-goal cushion for the most goals in the Eastern Conference and have taken 30 more shots than any other team in USL Championship. The Rangers still rank second in USL Championship with an 82% passing accuracy.
Hernandez leads all Rangers in scoring with eight goals. With his late goal against Atlanta, Harris tied Ethan Vanacore-Decker for second on the team with three goals. Defender Alexsander tops the Rangers in assists with five.
New York’s impressive attack is led by Tom Barlow and Jared Stroud. Both have scored 11 goals in the 2019 campaign. Barlow’s play has even earned him time on the Red Bulls senior team, where he has scored two goals. Stroud also leads the team in assists with eight.
The Rangers upgraded their attack by signing Portuguese winger Ze Pedro in late July. He scored in his debut and consistently provided the Rangers chances to score in Atlanta. Look for him to continue to get involved all over the field. Jaylin Lindsey has broken back into the SPR starting XI in the last two games, as well. After missing a majority of 2019 with a knee injury, the defender is regaining his footing and proving to be a valuable asset for an already impressive collection of Rangers fullbacks.
USL Championship: Game 23 of 34
Date: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kansas)
Swope Park Rangers: 3-13-6 (15 points, 18th place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
New York Red Bulls II: 15-5-5 (50 points, 1st place in Eastern Conference)
MLS Affiliate: New York Red Bulls
ESPN+ Live Stream Link: Click here
USL Championship MatchCenter: Click here
Match Notes: Click here
Game-specific hashtag: #SPRvNY
Swope Park Rangers
New York Red Bulls II