For the second time in five days, Sporting Kansas City II (0-3-0, 0 points) and Louisville City FC (2-2-0, 6 points) will square off at the brand-new Lynn Family Stadium on Wednesday in a USL Championship Group E clash. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN Plus and additional in-game updates available on Twitter at @SportingKCII.
The first of four head-to-head meetings between Sporting KC II and Louisville took place Saturday as Cameron Lancaster's 50th-minute header gave the hosts a 1-0 victory. Wilson Harris, Enoch Mushagalusa and substitute Jaret Townsend all went close to equalizing for head coach Paulo Nagamura's side, but Louisville saw out their slender advantage to snap a two-game home losing streak at their state-of-the-art, soccer-specific venue.
Now is his third season at the helm of Sporting KC II, Nagamura has fielded an unchanged lineup in each of the club's first two matches since the USL Championship campaign resumed July 11 after a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Harris, a Sporting KC Academy product with 11 goals in his last 14 league appearances, has spearheaded a three-man attack alongside wingers Mushagalusa and Fredinho Mompremier. In the midfield, 29-year-old captain Christian Duke has joined Camden Riley and 18-year-old Academy product Jake Davis, while the four-man backline shielding 18-year-old goalkeeper Brooks Thompson has consisted of Sam Raben, Kaveh Rad, Petar Cuic and Dillon Serna.
In Saturday's contest, Sporting KC Academy product at 17-year-old Isaiah LeFlore notably made his professional debut one day after signing an academy contract with the team. Fellow Academy product Mason Leeth, Townsend, Danny Barbir and Dominik Resetar also made appearances off the bench.
Louisville City enters 2020 as three-time defending Eastern Conference champions, having won the league title in 2017 and 2018. The club's first league championship came in a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City II in the 2017 USL Cup Final. Lancaster remains Louisville's ace in attack, having bagged almost 40 regular season goals for the club, and reinforcements are on the way after the Kentucky club announced today that former Phoenix Rising FC striker Jason Johnson has joined the side for the remainder of the 2020 season.
The revamped 2020 USL Championship season has divided 35 clubs into eight groups, four in each conference. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the 16-team, single-elimination playoffs beginning in October. The formidable Group E consists of Sporting II, Louisville, Indy Eleven and Saint Louis FC. Sporting II will visit all three opponents four times each over the course of the season, with their lone remaining home game scheduled for Aug. 22 against OKC Energy FC at Swope Soccer Village.
USL Championship: Match 4 of 16
Date: Wednesday, July 29
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Lynn Family Stadium (Louisville, Kentucky)
Live Stream: ESPN Plus
Sporting Kansas City II: 0-3-0, 0 points (4th place in Group E)
MLS Affiliate: Sporting Kansas City
Louisville City FC: 2-2-0, 6 points (3rd place in Group E)
MLS Affiliate: None