A ten-man Sporting Kansas City II (1-4-1, 4 points) suffered a 2-0 defeat to North Texas SC (4-1-1, 14 points) on Sunday night at Rock Chalk Park. An action-packed first half was followed up by an intense second half, but SKC II was unable to find the back of the net despite numerous threatening chances.

First-year head coach Benny Feilhaber made just three changes to the starting XI as Sporting KC first-team loanees John Pulskamp and Felipe Hernandez cracked the XI and 2022 MLS SuperDraft round one selection Esai Easley made his first start. The other eight starters remained the same as last week’s match in Vancouver.

For a second consecutive match SKC II came out hot, bringing the action to the opposition. In the eighth minute winger TJ Fatah won a penalty kick after cutting through the defense and having his legs swept out from under him. Collin Fernandez saw his kick saved by North Texas goalkeeper Felipe Carneiro in the bottom right corner of the goal.

Less than 10-minutes later North Texas jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a through ball to Bernard Kamungo from Hope Avayevu. The midfielder’s perfect pass put the lumbering forward in on goal and he slotted a one-v-one against Pulskamp into the goal.

The match fell into a back-and-forth affair as both sides had a handful of chances. An SKC II free kick was blocked by the wall and Pulskamp made his first save of the match in the moments after the first goal. Fatah nearly found the back of the net in the 29th but his hurried attempt floated barely over the top of the bar.

Another Kamungo face off with Pulskamp saw the SKC II goalkeeper force the North Texas man into an awkward angle. Defender Jahon Rad was able to track back and won the ball off Kamungo’s foot. Moments later those two met again with Rad coming out on top as well, forcing a poor shot and an easy save for Pulskamp.

SKC II continued to get into the North Texas box but were unable to slice and dice the backline. Right before the half, the contest was flipped on its head as Davis was shown a red card for a foul in the midfield. North Texas, now with a man advantage nearly scored in stoppage time but an errant shot off the foot of Santiago Ferreira thudded into the boards behind the goal taking us to the half.

As the second half began, SKC II, playing down a man, began an onslaught in the North Texas attacking third. Mataeo Bunbury came on for TJ Fatah and looked to provide a spark off the bench. With the sketchiness of playing down a man, Easley made clutch play after clutch play to shut down the North Texas attack early in the final half of play.

The first true SKC II threat of the second half came as Bunbury ran onto the ball in the near corner. He got the ball to Fernandez at the top of the box, where he spread it wide to Julian Vazquez. The SKC II winger’s shot clattered into a defender at the last moment and rolled harmlessly away from goal.

Mikey Lenis slid an inch perfect pass to Bunbury in the box but a desperate defender rushed the shot and blocked it at the final moment. The intensity picked up as Guy Michaeli and Lucas Bartlett had a coming together after Bartlett kicked his legs out at Michaeli following a foul. Both were shown yellow cards and sent their respective ways.

Moments later, Avayevu, who was already on a yellow card, escaped a second yellow and an early trip to the locker room after he slid into Hernandez rather late in the corner. He was subbed off seconds after the infraction and North Texas grabbed the insurance goal soon thereafter.

Cade Thomson nearly pulled one back for SKC II after coming on as a sub, but his attempt was saved by a leaping Carneiro. A third North Texas goal was waived off due to one of their players being offside and the match came to a close with North Texas claiming a two-goal win.

It was a hard-fought match in which SKC II played down a man for the entire second half. The 10-man SKC II side took it to the North Texas defense in the second half rather than sitting back and defending.

Rock Chalk Park will be the backdrop for SKC II’s next match as Real Monarchs comes to town on Sunday, May 8 with kickoff set for 1 p.m. CT. Tickets are on sale at SeatGeek.com as SKC II looks to find their footing in MLS NEXT Pro.


2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 6
Rock Chalk Park | Lawrence, Kansas
Weather: 71 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC II 0-2 North Texas SC
Sporting Kansas City II
North Texas SC

Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Mikey Lenis, Esai Easley, Jahon Rad, Spencer Glass; Jake Davis, Collin Fernandez (Cade Thomson 79'), Felipe Hernandez (Curtez Kellman 79'); TJ Fatah (Mataeo Bunbury 50'), Guy Michaeli (Paul Agyei 75'), Julian Vazquez (Bakary Bagayoko 79')
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Matthew Fisher, Cole McLagan, Kaveh Rad

North Texas SC: Felipe Carneiro; Collin Smith, Paul Amedume, Lucas Bartlett, Isaiah Parker; Derek Waldeck, Santiago Ferreira (Pablo Torre 72'), Andre Luiz Queiroz Costa; Bernard Kamungo (Tomas Lacerda 79'), Jose Mulato (Luis Cardoso 62'), Hope Avayevu (Blaine Ferri 72')
Subs Not Used: Seth Wilson, Will Baker, Chase Niece

Scoring Summary:
NTX -- Bernard Kamungo (Hope Avayevu) 17'
NTX -- Pablo Torre (Luis Cardoso) 76'

Misconduct Summary:
NTX -- Hope Avayevu (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 25'
NTX -- Paul Amedume (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 39'
SKC -- Jake Davis (red card; unsporting behavior) 44'
SKC -- Felipe Hernandez (yellow card; dissent) 45'
NTX -- Bernard Kamungo (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 58'
SKC -- Guy Michaeli (yellow card; dissent) 66'
NTX -- Lucas Bartlett (yellow card; dissent) 66'
NTX -- Pablo Torre (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 89'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Nabil Bensalah
Assistant Referee: Shane Kennard
Assistant Referee: AJ Franklin
Fourth Official: Drew Klemp