Sporting Kansas City II (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Indy Eleven (3-0-0, 9 points) in a tight affair at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night. Sporting II striker Wilson Harris scored his first of the campaign after leading the team with 12 goals in 2019, but it wasn’t enough as former Sporting KC winger Tyler Pasher and Paddy Barrett each tallied for Indy Eleven either side of halftime.
The game marked Sporting II’s Group E opener where the team will compete for the remainder of the 2020 USL Championship season alongside Indy Eleven, Louisville City and Saint Louis FC.
Sporting KC Academy product and 18-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson earned just his second professional start, and the Indiana native put on quite a show, recording nine saves – with many of the stunning variety.
Kansas City native and captain of the 2016 and 2017 Western Conference champion sides Christian Duke earned his first start since returning to the club in the offseason, while there were also debuts for former Colorado Rapids Homegrown duo Sam Raben and Dillon Serna. In addition, Academy product Jake Davis earned his first start since signing a professional USL contract earlier this year.
Davis had the first real chance of the game in the fifth minute, but he curled a well-positioned free kick over the bar. Davis has built a reputation as a set piece specialist with the SKC Academy but was unable to replicate that success on this occasion. Moments later, Fredinho Mompremier found Wilson Harris in midfield and the forward bore down on goal before firing an attempt a few yards over the bar.
Thompson was first called into serious action in the 17th minute as former Sporting KC winger Tyler Pasher snuck in behind the backline, but the 18-year-old gloveman was able to repel his effort. In the 37th minute, Enoch Mushagalusa cut inside onto his favored right foot and curled an effort that seemed destined for the side netting but flew inches wide of the post.
Indy took the lead in the 39th minute when a poor giveaway in midfield allowed Nick Moon to carry the ball toward goal before forcing an excellent diving stop from Thompson. However, the ball fell right into the path of Pasher who tapped home his fourth goal in three games this season.
The second half started off much how the first had ended, as Thompson was again called into action to deny Pasher after the speedy winger had escaped behind the SKC II backline.
In the 53rd minute, Sporting II were level and it was a familiar name on the scoresheet. Mompremier picked up the ball in midfield and slid a sumptuous through ball into the path of Harris who rounded Evan Newton in the Indy Eleven goal before slotting home the equalizer. Harris led all teenage goalscorers in American soccer last year, tallying 12 goals in the USL Championship.
Indy almost retook the lead four minutes later, but Thompson again showed catlike reflexes to keep the ball out. Andrew Carleton’s corner from the left was headed on frame by Moon from four yards out, but Thompson managed to push the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and out.
However, Thompson could do nothing about the go-ahead goal in the 67th minute as Paddy Barrett slammed home off Ilija Ilic’s setup on the edge of the area to give Indy a 2-1 lead. It could’ve been three for Indy minutes later, but Thompson again used his feet to deny Pasher.
Sporting II had a few opportunities to tie it up late, as first substitute Duval Wapiwo got behind the Indy backline but saw his shot blocked after cutting inside of the goalkeeper. Deep into second-half stoppage time, fellow substitute Jaret Townsend was upended inside the Indy penalty area, but the referee waved play-on amid a slew of protests from the SKC II squad, allowing Indy to hold on to the 2-1 victory.
Sporting KC II is back in action next Saturday, July 25 when the side travels to take on Louisville City FC at their brand-new Lynn Family Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on ESPN+.
2020 USL Championship
Game 2 of 16
Lucas Oil Stadium | Indianapolis, IN
Weather: 86 degrees and sunny
|Sporting Kansas City II (0-2-0 0 points)||0||1||1|
|Indy Eleven (3-0-0, 9 points)||1||1||2|
Sporting Kansas City II: Brooks Thompson; Sam Raben (Mason Leeth 85’), Kaveh Rad, Petar Cuic (Danny Barbir 46’), Dillon Serna; Camden Riley, Christian Duke (C) (Duval Wapiwo 74’), Jake Davis; Enoch Mushagalusa (Jaret Townsend 85’), Wilson Harris (Dominik Resetar 59’), Fredinho Mompremier
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Jahon Rad
Indy Eleven: Evan Newton; Karl Ouimette, Paddy Barrett (C), Neveal Hackshaw, Carl Haworth, Ayoze (William Antley 11’); Tyler Gibson (Mitch Osmond 89’), Drew Conner (Ilija Ilic 63’); Tyler Pasher (Kenney Walker 89’), Andrew Carleton (Cam Lindley 63’), Nick Moon
Subs Not Used: Jordan Farr, Macauley King
IND – Tyler Pasher 4 (Unassisted) 39’
SKC – Wilson Harris 1 (Fredinho Mompremier 1) 53’
IND – Paddy Barrett 1 (Ilija Ilic 1) 67’
SKC – Petar Cuic (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 26
SKC – Kaveh Rad (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 35’
SKC – Camden Riley (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 40’
IND – Carl Haworth (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 43’
IND – Ilija Ilic (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 71’
SKC – Danny Barbir (Yellow Card; Unsporting Behavior) 82’
IND – William Antley (Yellow Card; Time Wasting) 99+
|Shots on Goal||2||11|
Referee: Eric Tattersall
Assistant Referee: Art Arustamyan
Assistant Referee: Nicholas Balcer
Fourth Official: Nabil Bensalah