Sporting Kansas City II forward Alenis Vargas has been named MLS NEXT Pro Player of Matchday 22 for his hat-trick performance in Sporting KC II's 6-1 dominant win over Portland Timbers2 at Rock Chalk Park on Sunday Night. Vargas bagged a first half brace and then capped off the night with a 52nd-minute penalty, which he earned, to tally the first SKC II hat-trick in 2023.
Vargas signed with Sporting KC II in early April from Fútbol Consultants Desamparados. After making his way to Kansas City from the Costa Rican side, Vargas earned his first start on April 23 at FC Cincinnati 2 where he picked up his first assist. The winger leads SKC II in the assists category, setting up five goals throughout the season. With the three-goal outing, he is tied for second on the team with five goals now as well.
The Honduran's first two scores came thanks to sublime services from Lucas Rosa and Josh Coan. In the eighth minute, Rosa was played out wide before dropping a delicious ball into the six which Vargas thundered into the roof of the net to open the scoring. Just over 15 minutes later, the Honduran was on the receiving end of an inch-perfect, defense-splitting through-ball from Coan. He ran onto the ball in the attacking third before cooly playing it into the corner of the net.
After over an hour rain delay extended halftime, Vargas came out fast as ever nearly burning the defense with his speed in the 50th. Not two minutes later, he torched his mark with his blazing speed and was yanked down in the box, earning SKC II a kick from the spot. Sitting on a hat trick he sent the keeper the wrong way and completed the three-goal feat before an hour of the game had passed.
Sporting KC II and Vargas will look to follow up the massive win on Saturday, Aug. 19 when they host MNUFC2 at Rock Chalk Park in the final 2023 regular season Match in Lawrence. Tickets are on sale for the 7 p.m. CT kickoff at SeatGeek.com and fans can catch all the action for free at MLSNEXTPro.com or the MLS YouTube channel.