Sporting KC II (7-6-2, 23 points) are back on the road for a matchup against Real Monarchs (1-12-2, 5 points) at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday night at 8 p.m. CT. The interconference MLS NEXT Pro clash can be streamed for free at MLSNEXTPro.com as SKC II looks to increase their road win streak to five.
Last Sunday, first-year head Benny Feilhaber and SKC II traveled to Denver Colorado for a match with their neighbors to the west Rapids 2. Two second-half goals off the feet of Cole McLagan and Julian Vazquez propelled SKC II over the top as they bested Rapids 2 with a 2-0 win.
Working from the back up, SKC II's goalkeeping has been kicked into high gear. First-team loanees John Pulskamp and Kendall McIntosh have played 14 of the 15 SKC II matches this season with Ethan Bandre playing in the other match.
Pulskamp has posted a 3-2-1 record and has made 25 saves. McIntosh is 4-3-1 with two clean sheets. In Bandre's first pro start, he made five saves and made an impressive performance against St Louis City2.
On the defensive line, McLagan has stepped into the center back role well, scoring two game-winning goals and wearing the captain's armband twice this season. His centerback partner Esai Easley picked up his first professional assist on Vazquez's goal and found the back of the net once in his rookie season.
Veteran leader Jahon Rad has played the second most minutes of anybody on SKC II during the campaign, starting 13 of 14 appearances for 1151 minutes. On the outside, Joseph Addo Tetteh has started two straight matches. Mikey Lenis and Coby Jones, two Sporting KC Academy players on pro contracts have also given good minutes at outside back.
The middle has been headlined by captain Collin Fernandez. One of SKC II's MLS NEXT Pro contracted players with Major League Soccer minutes has come into his own in the leadership role. He leads the team with four assists and has one goal as the only SKC II player to appear in every match.
The front three has been a focal point for Feilhaber of late as SKC II's offense has burst onto the scene. Vazquez and Rauf Salifu pace the club with seven-goal contributions each. Salifu's four-goal performance against North Texas gave him a club-best six goals in 2022.
Turning to Real Monarchs, they currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference with just one win on the season. The MLS NEXT Pro affiliate of Real Salt Lake are highlighted by MLS SuperDraft selection Pedro Fonseca. The Louisville alumnus has five goals and two assists, contributing to seven of Real Monarchs' 13 goals.
MLS NEXT Pro: Match 16
Date: Saturday, July 16
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Location: Zions Bank Stadium (Herriman, UT)
Live Stream: mlsnextpro.com
Sporting Kansas City II: 7-6-2, 23 points
Real Monarchs: 1-12-2, 5 points
Match-specific hashtag:r #RMvSKC