Kevin Oliveira, or Kevin O. as he requested the back of his jersey read, lead the Swope Park Rangers to a 4-0 win over Rio Grande Valley FC tonight. He celebrated his 22 birthday by tallying a goal and three assists. Mark Anthony Gonzalez had the brace and Daniel Salloi came off the bench with a goal as well. SKC loan Alec Kann played his first match for the Rangers and recorded the team's first shutout.
After setting up the first two goals, Oliveira was in the mood to get on the board himself. In the 43' minute Ualefi passed him the ball on the right side of the box. Kevin took a touch and fired a shot from a very tough angle but got the inside of the far post and his 3rd goal of the season.
Only a few minutes after nearly opening the scoring with a dangerous free kick, Oliveira would set up Gonzalez for an easy finish in the 23' minute. It was a beautiful team goal as the Rangers moved the ball around in the final third with quick passes. Kevin received it in front of goal and was clobbered for a stonewall penalty, but was able to push it over into space. Gonzalez was there to send it passed the Toros' keeper for the lead.
Gonzalez would get his brace just 4 minutes later after an absolutely fantastic through ball from Oliveira. The pass split two defenders and Gonzalez cut back to his right foot and made the finish look easy. It was the third goal in two games for the 21 year old Canadian.
Swope Park continued to dominate throughout the second half with a 3-0 lead. Daniel Salloi replaced Mark Anthony Gonzalez in the 70' minute looking to preserve his team leading goal tally. With both Oliveira and Gonzalez scoring their third goals on the night, it only took Salloi a matter of seconds to get his 4th on the season. He started the play with an intervening header. Oliveira took it and charged into the box. He beat his man and crossed it over to Salloi who fired it home through heavy traffic.
Kevin has been slowly progressing and building confidence week by week and tonight he really came into his own. His entire arsenal was on display tonight from his ability to be strong and keep possession, to the pinpoint passing and lethal finishing. He is simply begging the question of how long until Vermes is forced to give him a look with SKC.
Marc Dos Santos very badly needed a win tonight. His team did that, and they did it in style. There is a lot of talent on this team and they are capable of far more the record would indicate. Tonight is a solid example of what Dos Santos and these guys can do. They played high flying, entertaining soccer, while recording the shutout and not allowing a single shot on goal.
The win moves SPR to 4-5-2 with 14 points. They will head to Vancouver to take on Whitecaps FC 2 on Sunday for a 4:00pm kickoff.