Sporting Kansas City II (3-5-1, 10 points) cruised to a 3-0 win over OKC Energy FC (1-5-3, 6 points) on Saturday night in the club’s final home match of the USL Championship regular season at Swope Soccer Village. A first-half brace from striker Wilson Harris and a Danny Barbir goal midway through the second period paced the hosts to victory in their most dominant performance of the 2020 campaign.
Saturday’s contest was Sporting KC II’s first at Swope Soccer Village since October 2017 and the club’s first at home since March 8, days before the season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Head coach Paulo Nagamura’s side took full advantage by burying their Oklahoma rivals and securing their fourth result in six games.
Nagamura reshuffled his lineup to the tune of five changes from Wednesday’s road loss to Louisville City FC. On loan from Sporting Kansas City, 19-year-old goalkeeper John Pulskamp made his USL Championship season debut, Petar Cuic stepped into the holding midfield spot and 19-year-old Sporting KC Academy product Ryan Fessler earned his first professional start in midfield. Up top, Harris and Fredinho Mompremier reprised starting roles alongside 17-year-old Sporting KC loanee Tyler Freeman.
Harris needed just five minutes to vault his team ahead. Mompremier’s probing through ball intended for Freeman was cut out by OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi, whose fluffed clearance afforded Harris a clear opportunity at the top of the box. The 20-year-old expertly floated a first-time effort over Laurendi and into the gaping net to notch his first goal since July 29.
The visitors replied by carving out a chance in the 17th minute as Jon Brown raced behind the defense and fired low from a tight angle on the right side of the penalty area, but Pulskamp was aggressive off his line and produced an impressive kick save.
Cuic intercepted a stray midfield pass in the 22nd minute and threaded an inch-perfect pass through to Harris, who raced forward and unfurled a brilliant first-time strike across Laurendi and into the far left corner. The predatory finish upped his career goal tally to 19 in a Sporting KC II uniform dating back to 2018 as Cuic recorded his first assist for the club.
Nagamura’s men put the result out of reach in the 66th minute when center back Danny Barbir shook free of his marker and volleyed home off a Mompremier corner for his second goal of the season. Mompremier tallied his second assist of 2020 on the play as Sporting KC II hit the three-goal mark for the first time this season.
Mompremier went agonizingly close to etching his name onto the scoresheet in the 89th minute, settling a loose ball in the box after OKC failed to deal with substitute Jaret Townsend’s low cross from the right flank, but his thunderous attempt rattled the near post and caromed out for a goal kick.
Sporting KC II will conclude the regular season with seven consecutive away fixtures, the first of which will take place next Saturday, Aug. 29, at FC Tulsa. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on ESPN Plus.
2020 USL Championship
Match 9 of 16
Swope Soccer Village | Kansas City, Missouri
Weather: 86 degrees and sunny
|Sporting Kansas City II (3-5-1, 10 points)||2||1||3|
|OKC Energy FC (1-5-3, 6 points)||0||0||0|
Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Camden Riley, Kaveh Rad, Danny Barbir, Dillon Serna (C); Petar Cuic (Jahon Rad 73'), Ryan Fessler (Duval Wapiwo 57'), Jake Davis; Fredinho Mompremier, Wilson Harris (Jaret Townsend 81'), Tyler Freeman (Dominik Resetar 57')
Subs Not Used: Gavin Krenecki, Sam Raben, Christian Duke
OKC Energy FC: Cody Laurendi; Zach Ellis-Hayden, Nico Taravel, Christian Ibeagha, Joe Amico (Kyle Hyland 64'); Arun Basuljevic, Jon Brown (Brad Dunwell 77'), Rafa Garcia (C) (Charlie Ward 64'), Jose Hernandez, Tucker Stephenson; Jaime Chavez (Cordell Cato 88')
Subs Not Used: C.J. Cochran, Kyle Ihn
SKC -- Wilson Harris 3 (unassisted) 5’
SKC -- Wilson Harris 4 (Petar Cuic 1) 22'
SKC -- Danny Barbir 2 (Fredinho Mompremier 2) 66'
SKC -- Danny Barbir (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 19'
SKC -- Fredinho Mompremier (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 42'
SKC -- Wilson Harris (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 54'
OKC -- Jon Brown (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 60'
SKC -- Dominik Resetar (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 87'
|Shots on Goal||5||2|
Referee: Jon Freemon
Assistant Referee: Shane Kennard
Assistant Referee: Matthew Rodman
Fourth Official: Matt Geringer