For the first time this season, Sporting Kansas City II has been named the MLS NEXT Pro Team of the Matchday after the club hammered Whitecaps FC 2 7-1 Sunday night at Rock Chalk Park. In a Sporting KC II record-setting showing, seven different players found the back of the net with five different players picking up assists.
It was all Sporting KC II all the way against WFC2 with the home side firing 26 shots, 13 shots on target and claiming over 60 percent possession throughout the match. SKC II also dominated expected goals 4.86 to 0.62.
Cam Duke got the scoring started in the 19th minute after Stephen Afrifa cut the ball back to Ozzie Cisneros. The Sporting KC Academy product found his fellow homegrown at the top of the area where he blasted a shot with his left into the back of the net.
Just eight minutes later, Afrifa netted a goal for himself, finding the back of the net from close range on a brilliant Felipe Hernandez cross. The 2023 MLS SuperDraft first-round selection doubled the SKC II lead and tallied his first professional goal. Hernandez then buried a goal of his own in a similar sequence to his assist. After Alenis Vargas got to the endline he rolled the ball back to an oncoming Hernandez who flawlessly tucked a shot into the far corner. In stoppage time of the first half, Vargas earned a penalty kick which Danny Flores cooly placed in the lower right corner of the goal.
Vargas followed up a superb first half with a goal in the 58th. Duke spread the ball out wide to the Honduran who dashed through the attacking third, into the WFC2 18 and fired home a shot through the goalkeeper's legs.
SKC II's leading goalscorer Pau Vidal, who entered as a substitute in the second, launched a penalty kick, which he won, over the keeper, under the crossbar and into the roof of the goal. Vidal now has nine goals on the campaign, tied for the second most in the league and just one off the lead for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot. Andrew Draper capped off the evening in the 80th with a headed effort inside the six following an unreal solo run from Lucas Rosa in which the defender split two defenders and dropped a dime to Draper.
The dominant performance improves Sporting KC II's unbeaten run to five matches and has them in third place in the Frontier Division and fifth in the Western Conference. The team is firing on all cylinders, earning results in eight of their last nine matches. SKC II will take on Timbers2 at Providence Park on Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. CT before returning home to face Earthquakes II on Sunday, July 16. Both matches will be available to stream on MLSNEXTPro.com and tickets for the home match are available at SeatGeek.com.