Sporting KC II (5-6-2, 17 points) suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to St Louis City2 (8-2-2, 27 points) Friday night at Rock Chalk Park.

Julian Vazquez fired the hosts out in front in the 14th minute, but the one-goal, SKC II lead was erased by two second half goals in quick succession from St Louis. Vazquez now leads the team in goal contributions with six (three goals, three assists). Goalkeeper Ethan Bandre made his professional debut for SKC II and made five saves, keeping SKC II competitive for 90 minutes.

The SKC II backline was under pressure all night as the visitors hit 26 total shots, seven on target. Head coach Benny Feilhaber switched up the starting lineup again, bringing Jahon Rad back on the pitch along with Coby Jones and Spencer Glass. Vazquez also re-entered the starting XI.

STL CITY2 came out hot, moving the ball into a dangerous spot in the first minute. Rad blocked a centering pass giving City2 their first of 13 corners, which he also cleared away. In the ninth minute, Bandre introduced himself to the league with a stunning save, falling to his left to make a one-v-one save in the box on Josh Dolling.

Five minutes later, SKC II jumped out in front with their first true attacking movement. Josh Coan pinged an inch-perfect through ball into the path of Vazquez. The winger ran onto the ball, dashed into the opposition box and slotted the ball brilliantly past Ian McGrane.

Two minutes later SKC II nearly doubled their lead when an errant back pass bounced towards goal after Rauf Salifu forced the miscue at the top of the box. McGrane scurried back, slid into his own net and somehow managed to keep the ball from rolling over the goal line.

Midway through the first Bandre made his second save, a routine catch in the middle of the goal. The SKC II keeper was called into action again moments later, diving to the right to deny Dolling again. Salifu earned SKC II their first and only corner of the night following the first half cooling break. Rad got on the end of a misplayed McGrane punch but chopped his shot just wide of the near post.

Halftime came following a bevy of STL corners. Two minutes into the second, Bandre made his third save of the night by positioning himself on the near post to catch the attempt. SKC II's first setpiece in a lethal area came a couple of ticks later after Vazquez was dragged down 30 yards away from goal. The victim of the foul hopped up and curled an attempt over the wall into McGrane's hands.

STL City2 had a handful of chances go wanting as SKC II defended their one-goal lead. They nearly grabbed a second goal in the 60th with a free kick sent towards the path of McLagan that got headed away at the final moment. St Louis would find the leveler with Max Schneider's first goal, a shot off the post in the 64th minute. Rad was then called for a foul in the box and shown a yellow, leading to a converted penalty for Schneider, his second goal.

Bandre made yet another save, getting a paw on a shot coming across the face of goal. Guy Michaeli came on and nearly made an instant impact, but his final touch let him down as he galloped into the box. Following the final cooling break of the match, Bandre made his fifth save on a shot right into his path. Vazquez pulled some skills out of his bag of tricks, flicking the ball over the head of his defender and running back onto it. That attack fizzled out with a ball for Joseph Addo Tetteh running too far.

As second half stoppage time began, Salifu had two equalizing opportunities barely run away from him. The first saw him unable to fire a shot off after gaining access into the box, and the second was a difficult, acrobatic shot that was hit wide after Michaeli brilliantly centered the ball to the forward. St Louis City2 would hold on to win the match.

After 13 consecutive weeks, SKC II has a break next week, as they prepare for the second half of the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season. The team will be back at Rock Chalk Park on July 2 for a Frontier Division match with North Texas SC. It will be SKC II's final match in Lawrence in the 2022 season as they wrap up their final home matches at Swope Soccer Village. Tickets for all SKC II matches are on sale at and all matches can be streamed for free at

2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 13
Rock Chalk Park | Lawrence, Kansas
Weather: 95 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC II 1-2 St Louis City2
Sporting KC II
St Louis City2

Sporting Kansas City II: Ethan Bandre; Mikey Lenis (Matthew Fisher 46'), Cole McLagan, Jahon Rad, Coby Jones (Guy Michaeli 73'); Curtez Kellman, Spencer Glass (Joseph Addo Tetteh 73'), Josh Coan; TJ Fatah (Collin Fernandez 56'), Rauf Salifu, Julian Vazquez
Subs Not Used: Matthew Hudson, Bakary Bagayoko, Esai Easley, Nico Pendleton

Subs Not Used: St Louis CIty2: Ian McGrane; Benjamin Di Rosa, Joshua Yaro, Kyle Hiebert, Kwame Awuah; Akil Watts, Max Schneider, Ezra Armstrong (Kasron Gibbs 59'), Celio Pompeu (Sergio Rivas 80'); Josh Dolling (Dida Armstrong 90+4'), Wan Kuzain (Alex Jeffery Palazzolo 80')
Subs Not Used: Michael Creek, Jack Wagoner

Scoring Summary:
SKC - Julian Vazquez 3 (Josh Coan 1) 14'
STL - Max Schneider 2 (Celio Pompeu 2) 64'
STL - Max Schneider 3 (Penalty Kick) 66'

Misconduct Summary:
STL - Ezra Armstrong (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 59'
SKC - Jahon Rad (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 65'
SKC - Curtez Kellman (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 89'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Gabriele Giusti
Assistant Referee: Justin Mack
Assistant Referee: AJ Franklin
Fourth Official: Velimir Stefanovic