Sporting Kansas City II (2-4-1, 7 points) will play their unprecedented seventh straight away match on Wednesday when they visit Group E rivals Louisville City FC (3-3-1, 10 points) for the third time in less than a month. Kickoff at the new Lynn Family Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN Plus and additional in-game updates available via @SportingKCII on Twitter.
Led by head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, Sporting KC II saw the club's three-game road unbeaten run snapped Saturday in a 3-1 setback at Saint Louis FC. Captain Christian Duke bagged an equalizer late in the first half, but the hosts used goals from Russell Cicerone, Mour Samb and Joaquin Rivas to emerge victorious. Goalkeeper Gavin Krenecki and defender Isaiah LeFlore, a pair of Sporting KC Academy products, notably earned their first professional starts in the contest, while Duke vaulted to second on the team's all-time chart for minutes played.
Louisville City, meanwhile, will be eying a second consecutive win after disposing Loudoun United FC by a 2-0 scoreline on Saturday with goals on either side of halftime from Cameron Lancaster and Napo Matsoso. Lancaster has a team-best four goals this season, including a pair in the two previous meetings against Sporting KC II last month.
Sporting KC II and Louisville have split the previous two head-to-head matchups this season at Lynn Family Stadium, with Nagamura's men avenging a 1-0 loss on July 25 by claiming a 2-1 victory four days later as forwards Wilson Harris and Dominik Resetar both found the back of the net.
Louisville currently occupies third place in Group E of the USL Championship, three points behind Saint Louis FC for the second and final playoff spot and nine points behind leaders Indy Eleven, while Sporting KC II is at the bottom of the four-team group with seven points.
Wednesday's clash will serve as a rematch of the 2017 USL Cup Final. Playing on home turf, Louisville claimed a narrow 1-0 victory for their first of two straight league championships. Head coach John Hackworth guided the team to its third consecutive Eastern Conference title last fall before stumbling to Real Monarchs in the league final.
Over the last two months, Sporting Kansas City II has added eight teenagers to the club’s USL Championship roster, including seven Sporting KC Academy products. Jake Davis, an 18-year-old midfielder, has established a regular starting role since signing a fullly professional contract in June, while Krenecki, LeFlore, Josh Chong, Ryan Fessler, Mason Leeth, Jahon Rad and former Solar SC Academy standout Bailey Sparks have inked Academy contracts.
USL Championship: Match 8 of 16
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 19
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Lynn Family Stadium (Louisville, Kentucky)
Live Stream: ESPN Plus
Sporting Kansas City II: 2-4-1, 7 points (4th place in Group E)
Louisville City FC: 4-3-1, 13 points (3rd place in Group E)