Sporting KC II (4-4-1, 13 points ) claimed their third consecutive win in an exhilarating 2-1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes II (3-4-1, 10 points), Friday night at PayPal Park. A scoreless first half was followed by a three-score goal-fest of a second in which SKC II struck twice in two minutes to win their second-straight road match.

It was a match of firsts as Esai Easley and Guy Michaeli scored their first professional goals, Mataoe Bunbury picked up his first assist of the season and Kian Alberto got his first assist in his first SKC II start.

First-year head coach Benny Feilhaber shook the starting XI up a bit ahead of the contest. One Sporting KC first-team loanee joined up with SKC II in the match as John Pulskamp earned his first win of the season and Spencer Glass returned to the starting XI after starting in Sporting's Round of 32 U.S. Open Cup win against FC Dallas.

Much like SKC II's match last Sunday at Portland, neither side put a shot on target in the first half despite a handful of dangerous-looking advancements. The first shot went to Sporting as Collin Fernandez pinged a set piece from 35 yards out over the top of the bar after Rauf Salifu was yanked down.

Alberto's first action as a member of the club saw him slip Coby Jones in towards the endline where his cross was picked back up by Alberto. The midfielder fired a shot from the top of the box which was deflected immediately. Salifu nearly put the visitors on top but was dispossessed by the Earthquakes II keeper Emmanual Ochoa.

Defender Jahon Rad had a pair of superb defensive plays, poking away two centering passes at SKC II's six-yard-box. A minute later Jones slid in to shut down another San Jose cross. The hosts would force Pulskamp to get involved a couple of times in the first half but only on errant passes and misplayed crosses.

The most dangerous play of the half saw Will Richmond hit a shot into the side netting on the outside of the goal. The first half would come to a close with neither side finding the back of the net.

Feilhaber made an offensive-minded sub at halftime bringing on Michaeli for Salifu, but it was San Jose with the first shot on goal. Pulskamp got a leg on a near-post shot to keep Earthquakes II off the board. In the 59th, SKC II finally got out on the front foot on a set piece in the far corner. Straight off the training ground, the ball was played to Alberto who immediately swung it into a well-positioned Easley. The defender's header crossed up Ochoa and gave SKC II the lead.

Two minutes later Bunbury took the ball towards the same spot as Alberto's assist, generated space for a cross and found fellow Sporting KC Academy product Michaeli open in the box. The tall forward's header gave Ochoa no chance of stopping it.

San Jose cut the deficit in half with Rodolfo Castro picking up a loose ball that pinged around in the box in the 67th. SKC II would hold the lead for the final 23 minutes plus stoppage time despite an onslaught from the home side.

Easley made a clutch stop to cut off a through-ball, Pulskamp got a hand on a chipped shot in the box, a restart thudded into the crossbar and Mikey Lenis made his presence known on the backline. San Jose nearly drew level in stoppage time with some free kick creativity of their own. A runner broke free and headed the ball goalward, inches high and onto the top netting.

Despite all of that, SKC II held on to win. Their win streak increases to three as they begin a run with four of the next five matches coming at home. First, they will host Whitecaps FC 2 at Rock Chalk Park on Sunday, May 29. Tickets for the contest are on sale at and the match can be streamed at

2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 9
PayPal Park | San Jose, California
Weather: 73 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC II 2-1 Earthquakes II
Sporting KC II
Earthquakes II

Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulksmap, Mikey Lenis, Jahon Rad, Esai Easley, Spencer Glass, Coby Jones; Kian Alberto, Cade Thomson (Kurtez Kellman 64'), Collin Fernandez (C); Mataeo Bunbury (Josh Coan 74'), Rauf Salifu (Guy Michaeli 45')
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Joseph Tetteh

Earthquakes II: Emmanuel Ochoa; Israel Carrillo (Diego Otoya 87'), Alejandro Cano, Casey Walls (C), Christopher Grey; Niko Tsakiris (Jerry Ayon 62'), Nathan Scott, Jack Skahan (Rodolfo Castro 61'); Ousseni Bouda (Maximilian Arfsten 45'), Eduardo Blancas (Erick Reyes 87'), William Richmond
Subs Not Used: Eric De La Cerda, Ethan Kohler, Omar Lemus, Tristan Viviani

Scoring Summary:
SKC - Esai Easley (Kian Alberto) 59'
SKC - Guy Michaeli (Mataeo Bunbury) 61'
SJ - Rodolfo Castro (Maximillian Arfsten) 67'

Misconduct Summary:
SJ - Jack Skahan (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 19'*
* Mikey Lenis (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 73'
SKC - Guy Michaeli (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 80'
SKC - Jahon Rad (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 84'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Robert Vincze
Assistant Referee: Bhavik Dutt
Assistant Referee: Alberto Azpeitia-Palomin0
Fourth Official: Adam Zarrin