Oklahoma City Energy have become the kryptonite for Swope Park. The Rangers are 0-3 against the Energy this season after losing 0-2 Tuesday night.
When the two teams last played, the Energy controlled most of the game and Rangers head coach Marc Dos Santos has pointed to that game as his team's worst performance. Last night was a very different performance for the Rangers even though the result was the same.
The Rangers came out to play, they were motivated to take it to the Energy and they did. In the first 10 minutes Swope Park had goal called back for offsides, a screaming shot over the bar and shot off the post back into the OKC keepers arms.
Half of the Rangers back line was players loaned down the day before (Kevin Ellis and Ever Alvarado) but they fit in quickly and helped Jimmy Mulligan and Amer Didic keep the Energy from being too dangerous most of the game.
Late in the second half the Energy started to threaten a bit more with fresh subs coming in but the game turned in the 84th minute when Timo Pitter slid a low cross through the box where Coy Craft was able to touch it home to take the lead 1-0.
The Rangers starting pressing to get the equalizer and the Energy took advantage of the opening to add an insurance goal in the 89th. Pitter nailed home a shot into the corner to make the lead 2-0.
Dos Santos blamed himself for the loss, "We were better (than last OKC game). I think I lost the game today, I took decisions on subs, that is not the responsibility of the players. It's my responsibility and took decisions on some substitutions that were wrong and it didn't help the team."
"We should've scored first," Dos Santos added."We should've been the team scoring first. We hit the post, their goalkeeper made very good saves and then it's a different game."
"We were good," Sporting KC veteran Kevin Ellis observed. "Very good. We created so many chances, I think in the possession we were better, defensively we were better. Hats off to them for staying focused the whole game and they were able to get a couple chances and put the ball in the back of the net. Take nothing away from them but we will walk away feeling like we should have got more from this game."
When Dos Santos spoke about the Energy, he did not seem to be complimentary. "Their goals are not built, never. It's a team that is direct, a team that is very practical. It's not like they build goals with passing. It is very practical the way they play, to get a result is very practical."
Ellis and Ever Alvarado were both officially loaned on the day of the game but had practiced with Swope Park on Monday so they did not have a lot of time to learn their team mates. Ellis did not think it was difficult to come in and play for the Rangers. "Not hard at all, it's a good team. The players have a lot of quality; I think you can see that in the game. We play the same style as the first team, it was more just more me plugging into what they do and building off of them, building off of Didic in the back. I mean the kid is really good. He was talking all of the time; his organization is really good with me. I just had to listen to that guy and I think we had a really good partnership tonight."
OKC - Coy Craft 3 (Timo Pitter 1) 84'
OKC - Timo Pitter 1 (Luis Martinez 1) 89'
SPR - Christian Duke (Yellow Card) 5'
Swope Park Rangers: Jon Kempin; Jimmy Mulligan (Oumar Ballo 87'), Kevin Ellis, Amer Didic, Ever Alvarado; Ualefi (Tomas Granitto 80'), Christian Duke ©, Alex Molano (Nansel Selbol 72'); Kris Tyrpak, Dane Kelly (Mark Anthony Gonzalez 69'), Tyler Pasher (Johnny Grant 82').
Substitutes Not Used: Zac Lubin, Tommy Meyer.
STATS: Shots 14, Shots on Goal 7, Corners 7, Fouls 7
OKC Energy FC: Cody Laurendi ©; Michael Harris (Kyle Hyland 57'), Coady Andrews, Cyprian Hedrick, Kalen Ryden; Daniel Gonzalez (Luis Martinez 82'), Michael Byskov, Jose Cuevas (Coy Craft 67'), Sebastian Dalgaard (Timo Pitter 74'); Wojciech Wojcik (Jordan Rideout 74'), Danni Konig.
Substitutes Not Used: CJ Cochran, Peter Toth.
STATS: Shots 10, Shots on Goal 4, Corners 1, Fouls 10