Sporting Kansas City II (1-2-1, 4 points) slipped to a 1-0 defeat to St Louis City2 (3-0-0, 9 points) in a gritty Saturday night showdown at Rock Chalk Park. Akil Watts' goal in the 10th minute could not be overcome by the perseverant SKC II side as they hunted the equalizer for 80-minutes.

City2 got the action started with a third-minute set-piece in the left corner of the attacking third. The chaotic sequence featured two clearances, a cluster of redirects and a Jahon Rad clearance off a City2 player's hand which ended the play. First-team loanee Kendall McIntosh was called into action for the first time two minutes later, sprawling to his left to deny the shot inside the area.

The visitors grabbed the match's only goal in the eighth minute off another set piece in a dangerous area. The ball skipped towards the endline and was redirected into the goal right before it bounced out of bounds by Watts.

Following the City2 goal, SKC II began their search for the equalizer. Winger Julian Vazquez played the first of his many good services into the area inches past the sprinting Bakary Bagayoko's run. A few ticks later, former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Wan Kuzain was shown the match's first yellow card for a foul right in the attacking third.

The match slowed its roll for a bit as both teams began to find their footing in the 1-0 contest. St Louis fired one shot off target, and their keeper suffered an injury in the 33rd forcing a goalkeeper substitution. Moments later Vazquez attempted SKC II's first shot of the match, pinging a shot off the defender in front of him. The SKC II man looked for a handball call but none was given.

The final chance of the first half for City2 was a shot from a free kick in the middle of the field that thudded into the wall and drifted towards McIntosh who was interfered with on the way up. SKC II's final first-half attack saw Vazquez nearly connect with Paul Agyei in the box but the service fizzed just high.

SKC II put St Louis on their heels in the second half with a barrage of counterattacks. The first was sprung by halftime sub TJ Fatah, whose pinpoint service nearly ended up a St Louis own goal, however, the clearance thudded into the wall behind the goal.

The second counter-attack of the half saw Vazquez take the ball wide before sliding in Agyei. The SKC II debutant was unable to fire a shot as St Louis' desperate defender sprinted back goalside and intervened on the attack.

McIntosh kept SKC II in the match with an incredible save as St Louis tried to imitate their first-half set-piece goal. The keeper dropped down as quick as he could to deny a redirected header at his feet from point-blank range. SKC II's best opportunity of the night saw the ball fall to SKC II's captain, Collin Fernandez who curled a shot just past the goal.

Sporting KC loanee Kayden Pierre ripped a turf scorcher and second-half sub Rauf Salifu nearly got on the end of a Fernandez offering but both were blocked inside the 18 by a City2 center back in the final 10 minutes of the 90.

Things escalated in second-half stoppage-time when Max Schneider was sent off after a violent interaction while out of bounds. SKC II continued to look for the equalizer but went wanting as the St Louis 10-man side prevailed despite maximum effort from the Sporting attack.

Following this match, SKC II is heading to the Great White North for a match with Whitecaps FC 2. Fans can tune into to catch all of that action and can purchase tickets to future SKC II home matches at

2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 4
Rock Chalk Park | Lawrence, Kansas
Weather: 56 degrees and Sunny

Sporting KC II _-_ St Louis City2
Sporting Kansas City II
St Louis City2

Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Kayden Pierre, Cole McLagan, Jahon Rad (Esai Easley 90+3'), Joseph Tetteh (Rauf Salifu 70'); Kaveh Rad (Ozzie Cisneros 56'), Jake Davis, Collin Fernandez; Bakary Bagayoko (TJ Fatah 46'), Paul Agyei, Julian Vazquez
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Josh Coan, Spencer Glass, Curtez Kellman, Cade Thomson

St Louis City2: Eric Walker (Michael Creek 33'); Ben Di Rosa (Joshua Yaro 66'), Akil Watts (Jack Wagner 81'), Kyle Hiebert, Ezra Armstrong; Alex Palazzolo, Kwame Awuah, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (Vitor Dias 66'), Karson Gibbs (Max Schneider 66'), Celio Pompeu; Sergio Rivas
Subs Not Used: Ezra Armstrong, Josh Dolling, Aaron Heard, Miguel Perez

Scoring Summary:
STL -- Akil Watts 2 (Ezra Armstrong 1) 10'

Misconduct Summary:
STL -- Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 20'
SKC -- Jake Davis (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 38'
STL -- Ben Di Rosa (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 43'
STL -- Ezra Armstrong (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 52'
SKC -- Collin Fernandez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 75'
STL -- Celio Pompeu (yellow card; time-wasting) 79'
STL -- Max Schneider (red card; violent conduct) 90+2'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Samantha Martinez
Assistant Referee: Matthew Seem
Assistant Referee: Matthew Rodman
Fourth Official: Kyle Armstrong