Sporting KC II (8-12-2, 26 points) will take on Colorado Rapids 2 (6-9-6, 28 points), Monday night at Children's Mercy Victory Field in the club's final home match of the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. CT with a live stream on MLSNEXTPro.com and tickets on sale at SeatGeek.com for just $10.
These two sides have met twice with SKC II earning results on both occasions. In the team's first-ever MLS NEXT Pro match TJ Fatah leveled things at one late in the contest to force a shootout from the spot. Rapids 2 took the extra point.
The two sides met later in the year on July 10 at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium again. Goals from Cole McLagan and Julian Vazquez slowed the Rapids as SKC II left Colorado with three points.
Following their win at Colorado in July, SKC II hit a bit of a speed bump, suffering four consecutive defeats. The streak came to a close on Aug. 14 with an SKC II 2-0 victory over Timbers2 at home.
In recent matches, forward Bakary Bagatoko has emerged as a goalscorer, finding the back of the net twice in his last three starts. His third-minute goal against Portland proved to be the difference maker.
Bagayoko has been helped out by Josh Coan as of late. Coan scored his first SKC II goal against Portland, sinking a penalty to seal the match. in the second half. The duo are joined on the scorer's sheet by Vazquez and fellow forward Rauf Salif.
Vazquez's four goals and three assists give him seven total goal contributions, tied for the club-high with Salifu. The Ghanaian has six goals and one assist on the season, leading the club in scores.
The midfield has been held down by Curtez Kellman who eclipsed 1000 minutes played last week against Earthquakes II. He is joined by Sporting KC Academy player Edgar Bazan who has started two of five appearances since signing with the club in the middle of the season.
Collin Fernandez has captained the midfield and the club more than any other player this season. His unselfish play style has given him four assists this season, more than any other player. His 20 appearances are tied for most as well with defender Esai Easley.
In his rookie season, Easley, a centerback out of Grand Canyon University has been a key figure on SKC II. He has played 1358 minutes, scored once and tallied two assists, including the assist on Bagayoko's goal a week ago.
Colorado began to find their footing in the league after losing to SKC II at home in July. They have earned results in six straight matches, picking up three wins and three draws. With three matches left in the season, they find themselves outside of the playoff picture with no hopes of making an appearance.
Monday's visitors are highlighted by forward Dontouma Toure and his eight goals and two assists. Forward Darren Yapi has been his right-hand man accumulating five goals.
As a team, Rapids 2 has conceded the most goals (49) of any Frontier Division squad and the second most of any Western Conference club.
The SKC II home finale and the season finale to the SKC II Rapids 2 series are set for Monday evening. Two evenly matched teams who have fought it twice already will take the field at 7 p.m. CT on opposite sides of one another. Tickets can be purchased for $10 at SeatGeek.com and the match can be viewed on MLSNEXTPro.com.
MLS NEXT Pro: Match 23
Date: Monday, Sept. 5, 2022
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Children's Mercy Victory Field (Kansas City, MO)
Live Stream: mlsnextpro.com
Sporting Kansas City II: 8-11-2, 26 points
Earthquakes II: 6-9-6, 28 points
Match-specific hashtag:r #SKCvCOL