Sporting KC II (5-5-2, 17 points) picked up a massive three points in a 1-0 road victory at Houston Dynamo 2 (7-3-1, 22 points) Saturday afternoon at PNC Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Rauf Salifu converted a 13th minute penalty for his second goal in as many matches and the lone first-team loanee, John Pulskamp made six crucial saves, lifting SKC II past Dynamo Dos.

Head coach Benny Feilhaber trotted out a new starting XI, with not one starter from last week's match against MNUFC 2 starting today. Pulskamp was in net with Sporting KC Academy product Draven Barnett making his first professional start. Cole McLagan, Mikey Lenis and Joseph Addo Tetteh rounded out the rest of the backline.

The midfield was comprised of Cade Thomson, Curtez Kellman and Josh Coan while the front three that began the match consisted of TJ Fatah, Bakary Bagayoko and goal scorer Rauf Salifu.

As has been tradition for SKC II this season, the boys in blue came out hot. Salifu got on the end of a corner but glanced his header wide, the second corner in the first two minutes was cleared by Houston and Kellman pinged a shot off a defender in the fifth.

Pulskamp was called into action in the seventh minute when Papa Ndoye launched a Dynamo Dos counter by tip-toeing the sideline. He centered the ball to Jacob Evans in the box where the SKC II keeper slid in to make his first save of the night without spilling the ball.

In the 12th minute, Kellman sprung a counter for SKC II, winning the ball in the midfield and making a belline for goal. He slipped Salifu in and the striker was ripped down by a sliding Jon-Talen Maples. Salifu stepped up and cooly sent Michael Nelson the wrong way, giving SKC II the early lead.

Immediately following the goal, the match slowed down its pace. Ten minutes passed before the next attempt on either goal. Ndoye was played n aerial ball at the top of the 18 and lofted a header over Pulskamp's goal. Another Dynamo Dos counter appeared lethal before Barnett and Tetteh combined to slam the door on the advancement.

Edwards sent a shot over the net and we entered our first hydration break. Nothing eventful transpired for the rest of the half as Pulskamp got a hand on a corner, watched two shots fly off target, caught a restart in the back of the six-yard box and made a routine save. Spencer Glass entered for Cade Thomson and halftime came with SKC II up by one.

To start the second half, Feilhaber brought on the team's usual captain Collin Fernandez who entered the match ranked third in MLS NEXT Pro in minutes played. In the 50th, Houston nearly equalized on a setpiece as a headed attempt banged off the crossbar and away from goal.

Fatah made a brilliant centering pass that was a tick too soon as it rolled past the SKC II runners in the six. Barnett blocked a shot in the 55th, doing well to stay goalside and deflect the ball away. In the 61st Pulskamp made another save, smacking a hard shot away from danger.

Houston did put the ball in the back of the net, banging a header into the goal, but it was waived off by the ref for a push-off, much to the displeasure of the Dynamo Dos faithful. Glass curled a shot just off target moments later as the SKC II offense looked to get going to give the backline a breather.

After the second half hydration break, Fernandez's setpiece service for McLagan on the back post was an inch too high as the defender appeared to have beaten his mark. Moments later the clutch Pulskamp kept SKC II on top with another one-v-one sliding save. Coming way off his line the keeper dragged his back leg to deny Ndoye the equalizer.

The rest of the match produced zero shots on target. Esai Easley came on as a sub and blocked a shot, Kellman made a pair of brilliant plays to clear the ball and Glass also put his body in front of a handful of shots.

The match came to a close with Saluf's goal the difference. SKC II handed Houston their first home loss of the season, as the Sporting Kansas City MLS NEXT Pro affiliate looks to keep momentum rolling. They have now picked up five results in their last six matches, including a streak of three straight road wins.

SKC II will be back in action on Friday, June 17 against rivals St Louis City2 at Rock Chalk Park as the MLS NEXT Pro Game of the Week. The enhanced broadcast can be streamed for free on and tickets are available now at

2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 12
PNC Stadium | Houston, Texas
Weather: 96 degrees and sunny

Sporting KC II 1-0 Houston Dynamo 2
Sporting KC II
Houston Dynamo 2

Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Mikey Lenis, Cole McLagan, Draven Barnett (Esai Easley 81'), Joseph Adda Tetteh (Coby Jones 75'); Curtez Kellman, Josh Coan (Nico Pendleton 75'), Cade Thomson (Spencer Glass 45+2'); TJ Fatah, Rauf Salifu, Bakary Bagayoko (Collin Fernandez 45')
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Mataeo Bunbury, Matthew Fisher, Guy Michaeli

Houston Dynamo 2: Michael Nelson; Mujeeb Murana, Jon-Talen Maples, Sterling Peniston-John; Paulo Lima (Bryce Barnum 78'), Jathan Juarez, Jacob Evans, D'Alessandro Herrera (Jesus Daniel Rave Orejuela 66'), Reese Miller (Diego Rosas 59'); Kyle Edwards (Joyner Castilo 59'), Papa Ndoye (Joseph Farouz 78')
Subs Not Used: Logan Erb, Brian Alanis, Parker Jackson, Luis Moreno

Scoring Summary:
SKC - Rauf Salifu 2 (penalty) 13'

Misconduct Summary:
HOU - Jon-Talen Maples (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 12'
SKC - TJ Fatah (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 58'
HOU - Jacob Evans (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 76'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Joshua Belk
Assistant Referee: Logan Reeves
Assistant Referee: Carmelo Alvarez Jr.
Fourth Official: Melvin Rivas