Recap: SKC II stands tall in 0-0 draw with Memphis

Sporting Kansas City II (3-12-7, 16 points) secured their second straight result on Sunday afternoon, scrapping to a scoreless stalemate against Memphis 901 FC (5-6-7, 22 points) at Children's Mercy Park. Goalkeeper John Pulskamp posted his second shutout of the USL Championship campaign, finishing with three saves for a Sporting KC II side that kept their opponents at bay with a thorough defensive performance.

Head coach Paulo Nagamura fielded a formidable lineup that featured eight players on loan from Sporting Kansas City—namely Pulskamp, captain Amadou Dia, defenders Kayden Pierre and Kaveh Rad, midfielders Ozzie Cisneros and Jake Davis, and forwards Grayson Barber and Wilson Harris.

Pulskamp did well to keep the game scoreless inside two minutes, making a reflex save to deny Skylar Thomas following a scramble in the penalty area. Memphis spurned a massive opportunity shortly thereafter when Kadeem Dacres connected with Andre Reynolds' teasing cross and nodded over the bar at point-blank range.

Sporting KC II punched back with a chance of their own in the 14th minute. Barber's looping delivery from the right flank was headed clear only as far as Enoch Mushagalusa, whose sweetly struck, right-footed curler sailed marginally high of the target. Another speculative effort narrowly missed the mark in the 20th minute, with Barber cutting centrally and pulling the trigger near the left edge of the box.

Harris went agonizingly close to firing his team ahead in the 31st minute. An incisive SKC II attack set Dia free down the left wing, allowing the defender to cross low to the back stick. The 21-year-old striker stretched at full extension to poke the ball goalward, but his admirable attempt skipped inches wide. Davis then had his roll of the dice with an audacious 25-yard sledgehammer that whistled wayward shortly before intermission.

The first flashbulb moment of the second half came in the 54th minute when Kyle Murphy's header off a pinpoint service from Leston Paul rattled the goal post. Murphy attempted to prod home the loose rebound but instead struck the head of Pulskamp, who had sprung low to corral the ball, and the Memphis forward promptly received a yellow card for his transgression.

Paul went from chance creator to near goal scorer in the 67th minute, bending a sharply hit shot a yard wide after finding a pocket of space 22 yards out. It proved to be the final notable play of the game as neither side manufactured a clearcut look in the dying embers of the contest.

SKC II will continue their five-game homestand Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT when Birmingham Legion (11-6-3, 36 points) visits Children's Mercy Park. The Central Division showdown will stream live on ESPN Plus.

2021 USL Championship | Match 22
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 88 degrees and partly cloudy

Sporting KC II 0-0 Memphis 901 FC
Sporting KC II 0-0 Memphis 901 FC
Sporting Kansas City II (3-12-7, 16 points)
Memphis 901 FC (5-6-7, 22 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre, Kaveh Rad, Danny Barbir, Amadou Dia (C); Petar Cuic (Jahon Rad 90+2'), Ozzie Cisneros (Rojay Smith 80'), Jake Davis (Christian Duke 62'); Grayson Barber (Jamil Roberts 62'), Wilson Harris, Enoch Mushagalusa (Isaiah LeFlore 90+2')
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur, Graham Smith

Memphis 901 FC: Cody Cropper; Mark Segbers, Brecc Evans, Skylar Thomas, Andre Reynolds; Dominic Oduro, Leston Paul, Francis Atuahene (Alan Winn 46'), Andre Fortune (Roland Lamah 81'), Kadeem Dacres; Kyle Murphy (Michael Salazar 67')
Subs Not Used: Brady Scott, Raul Gonzalez, Rashawn Dally

Scoring Summary:

Misconduct Summary:
SKC -- Petar Cuic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 25'
MEM -- Kyle Murphy (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 54'
MEM -- Dominic Oduro (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 64'
MEM -- Alan Winn (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 75'
MEM -- Mark Segbers (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 86'

Match Statistics
Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Jeremy Scheer
Assistant Referee: Christian Little
Assistant Referee: Velimir Stefanovic
Fourth Official: Drew Klemp