The Swope Park Rangers return home looking for a positive result at 7:30 p.m. tonight when they host Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Swope Soccer Village. The Rangers are looking to turn around a 4 game winless streak with the last three being losses.
Tulsa are 2-5-1 and coming off their first win since the season opener. This will be the first time Swope Park faces a team for the second time as they defeated the Roughnecks April 2nd in Tulsa by a score of 2-1.
"Tulsa is a very direct team, a very physical team," Rangers head coach Marc Dos Santos explained. "They are a very fast team in transition. There's certain physicality to this type of game and it will be a challenge to how our younger players cope with this physicality."
Swope Park is coming off their worst loss of the season to cross-state rival Saint Louis FC. "It's crazy but 3-0 is an exaggerated result," Dos Santos observed. "When we looked at the game again the ball hit the crossbar twice, we had good chances from Pasher, from Duke. It's an exaggerated result but at the end of the day we deserve to lose. You don't score goals and your opponent does and playing almost 50 minutes a man down was very difficult for us in a tough place to play and a good team Saint Louis is."
One of the issues the Rangers had at Saint Louis was no natural center forward. Tyler Pasher and Kris Tyrpak played much of the game as a two forward pair when both are naturally more wide players. Dos Santos was forced into that situation with Dane Kelly and Mark Anthony Gonzalez injured and international homegrown forward Daniel Salloi was in Hungary to finish something with school.
Kelly and Gonzalez are both most likely still unavailable but Salloi has returned and Dos Santos predicted he would play.
First start against old team
Dos Santos did reveal that goalkeeper Zac Lubin should get his first start of the season. "It's not that Kempin is doing bad. At the end of the day we have two very good goalkeepers, we've played six games and it's important to keep the keepers on their toes and ready in case something happens and this is a fair chance to give Lubin a chance against his old team," Dos Santos stated.
Lubin is looking forward to making his debut for Swope Park, "It's something I've been thinking about since I got here in January. I've been working hard trying to get as much time as I can. I've learned a ton form the coaching staff here, all great coaches and they have given the ability to succeed and get this start."
"I couldn't ask for a better weekend to play," Lubin added. Playing against the old club and some friends that are on that team, especially getting a game at home in front of our fans. Should be fun and I'm really looking forward to it."