Sporting Kansas City II (4-4-2, 15 points) is set to take on Whitecaps FC 2 (6-3-2, 21 points) at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, British Columbia, on Friday, June 2 at 9 p.m. CT. The match will stream live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and fans can follow @SportingKCII on Twitter for updates throughout the contest.
Last season, SKC II suffered a road defeat in Vancouver before taking a point in a 1-1 draw at Rock Chalk Park. Friday will mark the first meeting between these two sides in 2023 with the second regular season match set for early July.
SKC II's road test north of the border will be their first competition in the month of June after the team earned results in three of their four May matches. Following 2-1 wins over Earthquakes II and LA Galaxy II, they drew with St. Louis CITY2 and took a 1-0 defeat from Real Monarchs to close out May. Head coach Benny Feilhaber will look to get SKC II back to the winning ways that they had early last month.
In 2023, SKC II has been held scoreless once, the match against Real Monarchs. They have scored first in all but two matches and started the year on a streak of seven consecutive matches in which they struck first. A wide array of players have found the back of the net for Sporting KC II, none more so than forward Pau Vidal. The Spanish striker has a team-best six goals scored and is tied for third in MLS NEXT Pro in the Golden Boot Race.
First-team loanee and midfielder Ozzie Cisneros ranks second on SKC II at two goals scored. The Sporting KC Academy product returned to the SKC II lineup in 2023 after suffering a pair of injuries in 2022. He has started seven of nine appearances and accumulated 592 minutes. Joining Cisneros from the first team for the majority of this season has been midfielder Danny Flores (one goal) and forward Cam Duke (one goal). Both have started five matches so far with Flores making eight appearances to Duke's six.
Current Sporting KC Academy player Nati Clarke leads all Academy players in starts and appearances with four to his name at the left back position. He has been joined on the backline by right back Lucas Rosa (one goal, one assist) who leads the team in minutes played (828 minutes), starts (nine) and tackles (15). The centerback role has seen a rotating squad consisting of SKC Academy Products Mo Abualnadi, and Jahon Rad as well as Nassim Mekideche and first-teamer Chris Rindov.
Aside from Vidal and Cisneros, nine other players have found the back of the net this season. Midfielder and team captain Josh Coan has one of those scores, the match-winner against Earthquakes II, and also has two assists. Forward Sebastian Cruz, another former Academy player, has one goal and two assists as well. Coan and Cruz are tied for second in assists while a pair of wingers lead the club with three assists.
Alenis Vargas and Andrew Draper are the assists leaders on the team, teeing up three goals for various SKC II players. Vargas joined the team in April and has gathered his three assists in just two starts. Draper has been a large piece of SKC II's front-three puzzle, starting seven of 10 appearances.
WFC2 enters the match atop the Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference. They have just one home loss on the year, a 4-3 offensive display back in April against Galaxy II. They have earned a result in four of their last five matches and are coming off a shootout defeat in LA which took place on May 28. Vancouver is led by 2006 MLS Best XI midfielder Ricardo Clark in his first year as WFC2 head coach. On the pitch forwards Kamron Habibullah and Levonte Johnson lead Vancouver with four goals apiece. Midfielder Antoine Coupland leads the team in goal contributions, picking up two goals and three assists. As a team, WFC2 leads MLS NEXT Pro in expected goals at 20.71 and ranks fifth with 22 goals scored.
MLS NEXT Pro: Match 11
Date: Friday, June 2, 2023
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Location: Swangard Stadium (Burnaby, British Columbia)
Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Match-specific hashtag: #VANvSKC