SKC II Recap: Sporting KC II earns third straight result in shootout defeat at Ventura County FC


Sporting Kansas City II (3-2-1, 10 points) earned their third straight result in an 11-round shootout defeat at Ventura County FC (4-1-1, 14 points) Sunday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park. After taking the lead in the 63rd, a stoppage-time goal from Ventura County forced Sporting KC II into kicks from the spot. After all 11 players had an attempt, the hosts emerged with the extra point.

Head coach Benny Feilhaber and the SKC II starting XI got a pre-match shakeup when Roberto Hategan began the contest in place of Stephen Afrifa who picked up a knock before kickoff. Hategan played on the left side of the front three with Beto Avila up top and Maoloune Goumballe on the right.

The midfield was made up of captain Ethan Bryant, first-teamer Danny Flores and Kamron Habibullah. The back four saw Jacob Bartlett and Nati Clarke on the outside and Demarre Montoute in the middle with Haris Alisah. Goalkeeper Ryan Schewe started his sixth straight match in goal and made a massive save in the second half to keep the match scoreless.

Two of the league's most high-octane offenses got off to a slower start with just one shot on target in the first 45 minutes. In total, nine shots were taken in the first half as both teams saw their best chances miss wide of the goal.

After Avila had the first shot of the day blocked in the fifth minute following a Marcus Ferkanus yellow, Gino Vivi broke into the SKC II box and took a crack at goal. The forward's offering bounced harmlessly to the right of Schewe's goal and the match remained goalless.

The next best chance came off captain Bryant's foot in the 11th from a setpiece in the attacking third. The midfielder's attempt at goal off the restart soared toward the upper right corner of the target, however, it drifted a tad too far, glancing wide. The match slowed until the 30th when former SKC Academy player Sean Karani harmlessly bounced an attempt into the arms of Schewe.

Avila found some space in the Ventura 18 but was unable to get a shot on target, lifting it over the crossbar from in close. Flores picked up a yellow card in the 37th. Hategan had a shot blocked in the 45th and after a minute of added time, the halftime whistle brought an uneventful first half to a close.

Entering the second, Feilhaber changed things up with a pair of substitutions. Academy product Sebastian Cruz and first-team loanee Chris Rindov entered the match in place of Montoute and Flores. The match opened up in the 52nd when VCFC countered off an SKC II corner from the right side of the pitch.

Again, Ventura's Vivi went for a run, taking the ball into the SKC II box where he lined up a shot, wound up with loads of power and sent the ball soaring over the net. Two minutes later a clever diagonal from Habibullah connected with Goumballe who beamed a centering pass across the face of goal, just out of reach of the runners on the back post.

Habibullah then had a go-for-goal himself, but could not get it through the traffic at the top of the area. On the other end of the pitch, Schewe stepped up massively. A crafty ball from Karani in front of goal had the keeper dead to rights, but he somehow regained position in the middle of his net and dropped down quick enough to turn the shot aside. SKC II was able to clear the danger and keep the match level.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 63rd thanks to a delicious corner kick served up by Jake Swallen who entered the match in the 60th for Bryant. The Wake Forrest alum dropped a delectable set piece into the path of Rindov who wasted no energy thundering the ball past the helpless keeper.

Feilhaber turned to his bench again in the 66th when he brought on Sporting KC Academy forward Ryan Reid in place of Hategan. The final switch was made in the 73rd with Medgy Alexandre, who scored his first professional goal in a 4-0 win against Houston came in for Avila. Alexandre almost provided an instant impact when his first touch came inside the opposition's 18 in the form of a shot. The forward was unable to generate a ton of power on the shot and skipped it into the arms of Brady Scott.

A brilliant bit of defending from Bartlett saw him stick with his mark inside the SKC II six, battle the ball off his foot and then play it off his man for an SKC II goal kick. Fellow Academy defender Clarke then showed his toughness with a hard-fought shield on the other side of the defensive third that resulted in an SKC II restart after a foul was called on VCFC.

Ventura got onto the scoreboard with the equalizer in the second of five minutes of stoppage time with a backheel flick off the foot of Ascel Essengue from close range. Neither side could find the winner and the extra point was decided in kicks from the spot.

Schewe stepped up again in the fourth round, making a crucial save before Bartlett evened the shootout score at three. No kicktakers missed for the next six rounds, forcing the keepers to take. The Sporting KC first-teamer was denied by Scott and Ventura took the extra point.

Sporting KC II will return home next Sunday, April 28th to take on MNUFC 2 at Rock Chalk Park. Tickets are on sale at and the match will stream live on beginning at 4 p.m. CT.

Sporting KC II 1-1 Ventura County FC
Sporting Kansas City II (3-2-1, 10 points)
1 (9)
Ventura County FC (4-1-1, 14 points)
1 (10)

Sporting Kansas City II: Ryan Schewe; Jacob Bartlett, Demarre Montoute (Chris Rindov 46'), Haris Alisah, Nati Clarke; Ethan Bryant (Jake Swallen 60'), Danny Flores (Sebastian Cruz 46'), Kamron Habibullah; Maouloune Goumballe. Beto Avila (Medgy Alexandre 74'), Roberto Hategan (Ryan Reid 66')

Subs Not Used: Jacob Molinaro, Stephen Afrifa, Brandon Munson, Cielo Tschantret

Ventura County FC: Brady Scott; Harbor Miller, Marcus Ferkanus, Jalen Neal (Ascel Essengue 46'), Riley Dalgado; Tucker Lepley (Erik Hernandez 80'), Isaiah Parente (Javier Corona Garcia 88'); Gino Vivi (Sergio Villalpando 62'), Ruben Ramos Jr. (Gabriel Arnold 88'), Sean Karani, Aaron Bibout

Subs Not Used: Lucca Adams, Victor Casillas Martin, Carlos Diaz, Christian Tchouante

Scoring Summary:

SKC – Chris Rindov 1 (Jake Swallen 1) 63'
VCFC – Ascel Essengue 3 (Sergio Villalpando 2) 90+3'

Misconduct Summary:
VCFC – Marcus Ferkanus (yellow card; tactical foul) 4'
SKC – Danny Flores (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 37'
VCFC – Ascel Essengue (yellow card; dissent) 86'
VCFC – Sean Karani (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 87'

Shootout Summary:

VCFC – Gabriel Arnold (converted)
SKC – Maouloune Goumbale (converted)
VCFC – Riley Delgado (converted)
SKC – Sebastian Cruz (converted)
VCFC – Harbor Miller (converted)
SKC – Kamron Habibullah (saved)
VCFC – Aaron Bibout (saved)
SKC – Jacob Bartlett (converted)
VCFC – Sean Karani (converted)
SKC – Chris Rindov (converted)
VCFC – Marcus Ferkanus (converted)
SKC – Ryan Reid (converted)
VCFC – Victor Casillas Martin (converted)
SKC – Jake Swallen (converted)
VCFC – Erik Hernandez (converted)
SKC – Haris Alsiah (converted)
VCFC – Sergio Villalpando (converted)
SKC – Nati Clarke (converted)
VCFC – Ascel Essengue (converted)
SKC – Medgy Alexandre (converted)
VCFC – Brady Scott (converted)
SKC – Ryan Schewe (saved)

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Mark Verso
Assistant Referee: Hunter Zachwieja
Assistant Referee: Jacob Herold
Fourth Official: Adam Zarrin