Sporting Kansas City II (4-16-8, 20 points) will conclude their two-game road trip on Saturday with a visit to Central Division leaders Louisville City FC (15-5-7, 52 points) at Lynn Family Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on ESPN Plus as the clubs square off for the fourth and final time this season.
Led by fourth-year head coach and former Sporting Kansas City great Paulo Nagamura, SKC II took a closely contested 3-1 loss to Memphis 901 FC on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park. Winger Enoch Mushagalusa bagged his team-leading eighth goal of the campaign to give the visitors a 17th-minute lead, with Sporting KC Academy product and recently signed MLS midfielder Jake Davis tallying his team-best sixth assist of the year.
Memphis responded by scoring three unanswered goals, two from prolific striker Kyle Murphy and a late third courtesy of Roland Lamah, to seal the victory against a spirited Sporting KC II side that held a 15-9 edge in shot attempts.
Louisville notably defeated Sporting KC II in the 2017 USL Cup for their first of two consecutive league titles and owns victories in each of the three previous meetings this season. Louisville forward Kyle Greig stamped his name on the first two matchups, striking twice in a 4-2 result at Children's Mercy Park on July 2 and a scoring the winner in a 2-1 game at the same venue on July 28. Spanish playmaker Jorge Gonzalez and midfielder Brian Ownby have also found the back of the net in two separate fixtures against SKC II, with Louisville posting a 4-1 home triumph on Aug. 7.
Mushagalusa, fellow winger Rojay Smith and 17-year-old Sporting midfielder Ozzie Cisneros are among the players who have struck versus Louisville earlier this year. The meeting on July 2 also saw Academy product Coby Jones come off the bench to score a brilliant goal in his professional debut.
Occupying first place in the Central Division, Louisville has cemented a playoff berth with five regular season matches to spare and will now battle for home-field advantage in the postseason. SKC II were eliminated from playoff contention following Wednesday's defeat in Memphis.
USL Championship: Match 29
Date: Saturday, Oct. 9
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Lynn Family Stadium (Louisville, Kentucky)
Live Stream: ESPN Plus
Sporting Kansas City II: 4-16-8, 20 points (8th place in Central Division)
Louisville City FC: 15-5-7, 52 points (1st place in Central Division)
Match-specific hashtag: #LOUvSKC