The Swope Park Rangers hit the road tonight to face the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Switchbacks Stadium. The Rangers look to get back on the positive side after having a three game unbeaten streak interrupted by their nemesis OKC Energy in the last match. Game time is 8 PM.
The Rangers are in 11th in the Western Conference with 21 points and a 6-8-3 record and will take on a tough Switchbacks team that is in third place with 30 points and a 9-5-3 record. "Now we have to try to go to Colorado, a very good team with a lot of experience, older than us, technically sound and we have to try to go then get a point," Rangers head coach Marc Dos Santos stated. "Everybody pretty much looks healthy so we look good going full force to Colorado."
After the tough loss against OKC, Dos Santos gave his team a little time off. "We had a lot of a lot of games without having days off and all the traveling I think, that after the game against OKC we gave two days off to the guys. I think it was good mentally you know just to stay away from it."
"They came back ready to restart their engine," Dos Santos continued. "Very intense, very good mentality, very good sessions, everybody working very hard. The attitude is good."
The loss versus the Energy was tough for Swope Park. The Rangers controlled most of the match up until around the 80th minute. "We know the game against OKC, we felt we give it to them, a team that never did nothing special to beat us and ended up getting out of here with three points," Dos Santos observed. "I think overall they reacted and they are positive about it. It's going to be a battle to make the playoffs until the 30th game we could of been 6th with a win against OKC instead we are tenth, we're knocking at the door, we're very close and we have to go one game at a time, play one final at a time."
Kelly in need of some confidence
Forward Dane Kelly was brought into the Rangers to give them a legitimate scoring threat right off the bat. Kelly is the all-time leading scorer in USL but has only one goal this season. He started the season looking good but an early injury has hampered his play time and has only made 8 total appearances. Kelly has held the ball up well but has not found that scoring touch, even missing wide an open goal from close range. When asked if Kelly was perhaps suffering from in the confidence department and what he could to break him out it, Dos Santos replied, "It's continue trusting in him. It's one of the things we did was started him against OKC, today he looked good, he looked intense he worked hard I am absolute sure that we have Dane in the last part of the season very, very good."
Yesterday it was announced that Sporting Kansas City was loaning Kevin Ellis, Chance Myers, Alec Kann and Emmanuel Appiah to Swope Park Rangers. They join Jon Kempin and Ever Alvarado already on loan to Sporting KC's reserve team.
SKC manager Peter Vermes said Appiah would start and it would be expected that all (with the exception of one of the two keepers) should start. Myers and Ellis have both recovered from injuries and need game time to be 90 minute fit for when Sporting KC may need them. Kann might get the start just to keep him sharp in game situations.