Sporting Kansas City II (6-4-5, 26 points) turned out a record-breaking performance in a 7-1 triumph over Whitecaps FC 2 (8-6-3, 29 points) Sunday night at Rock Chalk Park. The seven goals from seven different goal scorers are a record for SKC II for goals in a match as they improve their unbeaten run to five straight matches.
Cam Duke got the scoring started in the 19th before Stephen Afrifa netted his first professional goal in the 28th. Felipe Hernandez scored his first goal of the campaign and Danny Flores sank a penalty right before the half. In the second half, Alenis Vargas, Pau Vidal and Andrew Draper all scored capping off a fantastic offensive performance.
John Pulskamp tended the net with Kayden Pierre, Chris Rindov, Robert Voloder and Nati Clarke on the back four. Hernandez, Flores and Duke patrolled the midfield with Vargas, Afrifa and Ozzie Cisneros up top. All in all, nine first-teamers started, including five homegrowns and four academy products.
In the eighth minute, SKC II nearly found the breakthrough after Clarke slipped Afrifa past the back four. The striker took a touch and had his shot blocked allowing Hernandez to run onto the loose ball and send a shot inches off the upper-90. In the 13th, Vargas, following a corner, skipped a cross through the six-yard box just out of reach of any of the SKC II runners.
Hernandez had SKC II's closest chance in the 18th when he rattled the post after torching a defender inside the 18. The hard work paid off a minute later when Duke blasted a shot into the back of the net on a Cisneros assist. Afrifa connected with Cisnoers after collecting his loose touch near the endline. After Cisneros gathered the ball he slipped Duke into the 18 where he fired it home at the top of the box.
In the defensive third, Rindov tracked back into the SKC II box and blocked an attempted cross out for a corner kick. The defense held and cleared their lines. In the 28th, Afrifa netted his first professional goal. Vargas got to the endline and cut a pass back to Hernandez. The homegrown chopped a ball right to a perfectly-placed Afrifa who cooly played the ball into the wide-open net.
Pulskamp got his hands on the ball for the first time in the 35th, dashing off his line and scooping up a threatening through ball. Three minutes later he snared a line drive cross and sparked a counter-attack with a throw to a sprinting Duke in the middle third. The midfielder tried to slide Afrifa through again but the goalkeeper, Max Anchor, was wise to it, scampering off his line and blasting the ball away.
Hernandez added the third in the 41st. Voloder got into the attack with a terrific run through the midfield after forcing a turnover in the defensive third. The center back split the ball out wide to Vargas who again cut the ball back to Hernandez. This time SKC II's all-time leader in assists opted for a shot, tucking it neatly into the far post. In stoppage time of the first half, Flores cooly sank a penalty kick, which Vargas earned with another brilliant run. The kick taker beat Anchor with a firm shot to the right side of the goal. SKC II took the four-goal advantage into the break, entering the locker room to a chorus of applause from the fans in attendance.
Firmly in control, SKC II did not take their foot off the gas in the second half. Lucas Rosa came on as a sub for Pierre as the one swap for the hosts. While the first half was all scoring from first-team loanees, the second saw all the production come from SKC II players. In the 58th SKC II's 2023 assists leader, Vargas netted his first goal for the club.
The Honduran took control of the ball and entered the attacking third after being played by Duke out wide. The retreating defender forced him into a tight angle, but the winger generated enough space to blast a shot at the keeper. Anchor was unable to get his hands down quickly enough as Vargas snuck the offering through his legs for the fifth SKC II goal.
In the next minute, Vidal and Josh Coan came on for the first two goalscorers Afrifa and Duke. The best defensive play of the night came from Clarke in the 65th when the SKC Academy played put his body on the line three times in one defensive stand. The first time he blocked a rocket of a shot using his lower legs in the middle of the area. Sticking with the play the outside back got to his usual spot on the left side of the box and blocked a pair of crosses before they could connect with their runners.
Vitor Dias and Andrew Draper entered for Flores and Vargas in the 71st as SKC II's final subs of the match. Vidal earned a penalty for SKC II in the 71st and stepped up to the spot with confidence. The Spaniard blasted the ball past the keeper, under the bar and into the roof of the goal for his ninth goal of the season. Vidal is now tied for second in MLS NEXT Pro in goals scored as he closes in on the top spot in the Golden Boot race.
Draper capped off the scoring for SKC II in the 84th thanks to a stunning assist from Rosa. The defender split two defenders with a pass to himself, regained control and dropped a dime to Draper in the box. The wingers' headed attempt crossed up the keeper and was thundered into the goal by a defender after already crossing the goalline.
WFC2 would go on to score a late goal in the 90th off the foot of their leading scorer Levonte Johnson. Despite the last-ditch effort, SKC II would claim the match 7-1 in a thumping of the Vancouver second team. It caps off a brilliant weekend of soccer for the Sporting Kansas City organization after the first team claimed a 3-0 victory on Saturday evening.
SKC II will now head to the Pacific Northwest for a meeting with Timbers2 at Providence Park on Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. CT. The match will stream for free on MLSNEXTPro.com and on the MLS YouTube channel. Fans can also follow @SportingKCII on Twitter for live updates throughout the contest.
Sporting KC II
Whitecaps FC 2
Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Kayden Pierre (Lucas Rosa 46'), Chris Rindov, Robert Voloder, Nati Clarke; Danny Flores (Vitor Dias 72'), Felipe Hernandez, Cam Duke (Josh Coan 59'); Alenis Vargas (Andrew Draper 72'), Stephen Afrifa (Pau Vidal 59'), Ozzie Cisneros
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Ethan Bryant, Sebastian Cruz, Nassim Mekideche
Whitecaps FC 2: Max Anchor; Dakro Ilic, Karifa Yao, Joshue Ndakala, Mihail Gherasimencov; Malcolm Johnston (Giovanni Aguillar 46'), Vasco Fry, Christian Greco-Taylor (Jean-Claude Ngando 46'), Antoine Coupland, Joe Hanson (Levonte Johnson 46'); Gloire Amanda (Lowell Wright 62')
Subs Not Used: Cohen Park, Lucas Dasovic
SKC – Cam Duke 2 (Ozzie Cisneros 1) 19'
SKC – Stephen Afrifa 1 (Felipe Hernandez 1) 28'
SKC – Felipe Hernandez 1 (Alenis Vargas 4) 43'
SKC – Danny Flores 2 (penalty kick) 48'
SKC – Alenis Vargas 1 (Cam Duke 1) 58'SKC – Pau Vidal 9 (penalty kick) 74'
SKC – Andrew Draper 2 (Lucas Rosa 2) 84'
VAN – Levonte Johnson 7 (Giovanni Aguillar 3)90+3'
VAN – Joshue Ndakala (yellow card; handball) 24'
VAN – Karifa Yao (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 41'
VAN – Vasco Fry (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 48'
VAN – Antoine Coupland (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 90'
Shots on Goal
Referee: Adorae Monroy
Assistant Referee: Albert Franklin
Assistant Referee: Logan Reeves
Fourth Official: Kyle Armstrong