Sporting Kansas City II (2-2-1, 8 points) welcomes Houston Dynamo 2 (1-3-1, 5 points) to Rock Chalk Park on Sunday, April 30 in an MLS NEXT Pro, Frontier Division matchup on MLS SEASON PASS on Apple TV. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and tickets are still on sale at SeatGeek.com for $10. Admission is free for ages 12 and under.
Both teams enter the contest looking to get back to winning form following defeats. Sporting KC II suffered a 3-2 defeat at FC Cincinnati 2 while Dynamo Dos was bested by Tacoma Defiance 2-1. In SKC II's loss, four current Sporting KC Academy players on amateur contracts earned starts, the most so far this season. Carlito Saylon started in net with defenders Jacob Bartlett and Nati Clarke playing one line in front of him. Holding midfielder Cielo Tschantret made his professional debut and scored in the match, tucking home a corner kick in the second half.
Despite scoring first for a fifth straight match, Cincinnati was able to come back, taking the lead in the 35th minute and holding onto it for the remainder of the contest. SKC II entered the half trailing for the first time in 2023.
Five matches into the season forward Pau Vidal has emerged as a prolific scorer and offensive threat. The Spaniard has four goals and has scored in four straight matches after signing with the club ahead of the 2023 season. He has been joined in the front three by winger Andrew Draper who has tallied three assists on the season. Vidal's four goals and Draper's three assists are both tied for second in MLS NEXT Pro.
In the midfield, Josh Coan has grown into his role as a team leader in his second season with the club. Coan picked up his second assist of the campaign against Cincinnati, setting up Tschantret's goal off a corner kick. The midfielder has started in all four of his appearances, playing the part of captain well in all four. Joining Coan in the midfield this past week was newcomer Vitor Dias, a former St. Louis CITY2 member. Dias made his first start as a member of SKC II last Sunday following a successful rookie season in which he accumulated six goals and three assists.
The defense has seen consistent minutes from Sporting KC Academy product Jahon Rad and Brazilian right back Lucas Rosa. Rad has earned minutes in all five of SKC II's matches this season and donned the captain's armband in their 2-1 win over LAFC 2 on Sunday, April 9. Rosa currently leads the team in minutes played with 436. He has one goal and one assist so far and his lone score won MLS NEXT Pro Goal of Matchday 4.
In 2023, Head Coach Benny Feilhaber and SKC II have fit their position well as the midpoint between the SKC Academy and first team. Seven Academy players have signed amateur deals with SKC II while three members of SKC II were called up to the first team for their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup bout with Tulsa Athletic this past Tuesday. Midfielder Ethan Bryant played 60 minutes, midfielder Sebastian Cruz went for 30 and defender Mo Abualnadi came on in the 81st as Sporting advanced to the Round of 32 by way of a 3-0 win.
Houston comes to Lawrence on Sunday with one win under their belt, a 3-1 triumph on the road at St. Louis CITY2. They took home a shootout victory over LAFC2 and have been beaten by Austin FC II, Rapids 2 and Tacoma. Dynamo Dos is led by Kenny Bundy who guided the team to an MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs appearance in the league's inaugural season.
Bundy's squad includes 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Best XI defender Talen Maples. The defender has five starts on the season and ranks second on the team with one goal scored. Papa Ndoye is also back with Houston and has a team-high two scores this season.
Sporting KC II and Houston Dynamo 2 faced off with each other on three occasions in 2022, once at Rock Chalk Park and twice in Houston. SKC II took one win on the road while Houston claimed three points in the other two matches. Their first of two meetings is set for Sunday at 7 p.m. CT at Rock Chalk Park. Tickets are available for purchase at SeatGeek.com, and fans can catch all the action on MLS SEASON PASS on APPLE TV or by following @SportingKCII on Twitter for live updates throughout the contest.
MLS NEXT Pro: Match 6
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2023
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Rock Chalk Park (Lawrence, KS)
Watch: MLS SEASON PASS on Apple TV
Match-specific hashtag: #SKCvHOU