NOTE: Saturday's match between Sporting Kansas City II and OKC Energy FC at Swope Soccer Village will be closed to the public.
Led by third-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Paulo Nagamura, Sporting Kansas City II (2-5-1, 7 points) will host OKC Energy FC (1-4-3, 6 points) in the club’s final home match of the USL Championship regular season on Saturday at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. The inter-conference clash will be closed to the public and stream live on ESPN Plus with additional in-game updates via @SportingKCII on Twitter.
The USL Championship’s revamped regular season schedule will see Sporting KC II play 14 of 16 league matches away from home. The club opened the 2020 campaign with a 2-1 home defeat to the Charlotte Independence at Children’s Mercy Park on March 8, just days before play was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday’s clash is Sporting KC II’s final home date of the season and marks the first time the club has played a competitive match at Swope Soccer Village since October 2017.
Currently occupying last place in the four-team Group E, Sporting KC II is looking to bounce back from a 4-1 loss at Louisville City FC on Wednesday. Nagamura’s men took seven points from three road games between July 29 and Aug. 5 but have lost two on the trot since then, falling to Saint Louis FC and Louisville. Right back Sam Raben opened his scoring account in Wednesday's defeat on an assist from left back Dillon Serna.
OKC Energy FC, guided by head coach and former Sporting KC goalkeeper coach John Pascarella, sits fourth in the five-team Group D and have just two points to show from their previous five games. The club has failed to score in four straight games, has a 362-minute goalless streak dating back to July 22 and claimed its lone victory of the year on July 17. OKC is hoping for a quick bounce-back after suffering a 4-0 setback Wednesday at San Antonio FC.
Saturday will mark Sporting Kansas City II’s first match at Swope Soccer Village since Oct. 22, 2017, when the club famously defeated Didier Drogba and Phoenix Rising FC in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs. The first half was played on the Saturday night of Oct. 21, but inclement weather prompted the second half and extra time to be played Sunday afternoon the following day. Drogba gave the visitors a 1-0 extra-time lead in the 99th minute, but defender Amer Didic equalized 10 minutes later to force a penalty shootout that Sporting KC II won 4-2.
Swope Soccer Village served as Sporting KC II’s home venue for the vast majority of 2016 and 2017. The club boasts a 24-6-3 all-time record at the stadium, including a 3-0-1 mark in the postseason.
USL Championship: Match 9 of 16
Date: Saturday, Aug. 22
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, MO)
Live Stream: ESPN Plus
No Admission: Closed to the public
Sporting Kansas City II: 2-5-1, 7 points (4th place in Group E)
OKC Energy FC: 1-4-3, 6 points (4th place in Group D)