SKC II Recap: Sporting KC II suffers 2-0 defeat against North Texas SC, first loss since March


Sporting Kansas City II (4-3-1, 13 points) suffered their first defeat since March 31 on Sunday night, dropping to North Texas SC (3-0-4, 16 points) 2-0 at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas. Sporting KC II was held goalless for the first time all season and for the first time in a regular season match since May 26, 2023.

Head coach Benny Feilhaber started 17-year-old goalkeeper Jacob Molinaro who made his professional debut. He made two saves including a one-v-one that unfortunately redirected back into Malachi Molina's path for his first goal. Jacob Bartlett, Haris Alisah, Chris Rindov and Nati Clarke played on the back four with Cielo Tschantret, Danny Flores and Kamron Habibullah in the midfield.

Sebastian Cruz played at the nine after playing most of the past two seasons on the wing or in the midfield. Maouloune Goumballe and Stephen Afrifa played on the wing. SKC II had several chances to find the back of the net but could not test the keeper on more than two occasions.

A slower contest than the last two SKC II home matches, neither side fired a shot until Habibullah made a run into the North Texas box in the 14th. After a clever, quick restart from the midfielder was sent to Bartlett and then played back to him, Habibullah rolled a shot into the grasp of goalkeeper Michael Collodi. Three minutes later North Texas attempted a centering pass from inside the 18 that was cleared downfield.

In the 23rd Tarik Scott picked up the first of eight yellow cards in the physical battle between these Frontier Division opponents. Not two minutes later Clarke was given a yellow. Bartlett then got into the attack after intercepting a pass in the defensive half. He started the attack by playing Habibullah before dashing into the attack. The MLS NEXT Pro Player of the Month for April dished the ball back to Bartlett who smashed an attempt high and wide of the near post.

Molina scored the opener in the 28th minute, capping off a run from Enes Sali. After the winger saw his shot saved by Molinaro, a second shot was blocked in traffic before Molina picked up the loose ball and placed it into the empty net. SKC II would go on the attack for a large portion of the 62 remaining minutes but could not notch a goal.

A set piece produced a near moment of jubilation for SKC II when Alisha's header fell to Tschantret on the endline. The rookie attempted to send the ball back across the face of the goal, however, it floated too close to the net, bounced off the crossbar and settled on top of the goal.

Tomas Pondece then received a yellow card in the 35th and Flores was forced off the field with a knock in the 38th, replaced by Jake Swallen. Clarke cracked one toward goal five minutes later but sent it over the target. Cruz then got into a lethal area before having several Texas defenders retreat behind the ball to block it away from danger.

Right on the cusp of halftime, the fortunes nearly changed for Sporting when Goumballe was fouled inside the 18. Nolan Norris brought the winger down in the six, earning himself a yellow card and gifting SKC II a kick from the spot, which was pushed wide by Goumballe. Tschantret was booked with a yellow in stoppage time and the first half concluded right after.

Coming out for the second, Feilhaber made two swaps, bringing on Beto Avila and Demarre Montoute for Afrifa and Tschantret. A minute into the final 45, Clarke entered the box and centered the ball for Cruz. Collodi collected uncleanly but smothered the ball before any rebound could be secured.

A brilliant ball sent over the top by Habibullah connected with Avila and put the sub in on goal. North Texas's defense was able to get goal side and slowed the attack enough to prevent a shot. Nico Gordon earned himself a yellow for a foul in a dangerous area. Habibullah nearly tested the keeper but hit his shot just above the bar.

Cruz was given a questionable yellow in the 57th as North Texas tried to break. Nothing came of the forward movement from a steadfast North Texas side and SKC II got back on the attack. Swallen hit one over the goal and Ethan Bryant came on for Alisah in the 65th. Two minutes later another set-piece from Habibullah drifted barely over the goal, landing on top of the net.

Malachi added his second goal of the contest in the 70th to cap off a counterattack and double the guest's lead. Sporting was unable to test the keeper in the final 20 minutes and North Texas would take all three points.

Sporting KC II will wrap up a three-match homestand next Sunday when they host Colorado Rapids 2 at Rock Chalk Park. Kickoff is. set for 2 p.m. CT and tickets are on sale at The last time the two sides met, SKC II came back from a 3-1 halftime deficit to win 5-3 in Habibullah's first hat trick of 2024.

Sporting KC II 0-2 North Texas SC
Sporting Kansas City II (4-3-1, 13 points)
North Texas SC (3-0-4, 16 points)

Sporting Kansas City II: Jacob Molinaro; Jacob Bartlett, Haris Alisah (Ethan Bryant 65'), Chris Rindov, Nati Clarke; Danny Flores (Jake Swallen 38'), Cielo Tschantret (Demarre Montoute 46'), Kamron Habibullah; Maouloune Goumballe (Roberto Hategan 72'), Sebastian Cruz, Stephen Afrifa (Beto Avila 46')

Subs Not Used: Jack Kortkamp, Medgy Alexandre, Brandon Munson, Ryan Reid

North Texas SC: Michael Collodi; Turner Humphrey, Nico Gordon, Nolan Norris; Malachia Molina (Anthony Ramirez 88'), Tomas Pondecha (Nick Mendonca 62'), Diego Garcia, Isaiah Parker; Pedrinho, Tarik Scott (Malik Henry-Scott 62'), Enes Sali (Abdoul Zanne 79')

Subs Not Used: Victor Darub, Leonardo Orejarena, Lautaro Taboada

Scoring Summary:

NTX – Malachi Molina 1 (unassisted) 28'
NTX – Malachi Molina 2 (Pedrinho 3) 70'

Misconduct Summary:

NTX – Tarik Scott (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 23'
SKC – Nati Clarke (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 25'
NTX – Tomas Pondeca (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 35'
NTX – Nolan Norrs (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 45'
SKC – Cielo Tschantret (yellow card; dissent) 45+4'
NTX – Nico Gordon (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 51'
SKC – Sebastian Cruz (yellow card; unsporting conduct) 57'
NTX – Malachi Molina (yellow card; delaying a restart) 72'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Shawn Tehini
Assistant Referee: Justin Mack
Assistant Referee: Jackson Krauser
Fourth Official: Tim Wagner