Swope Park Rangers got a very good road point with a 1-1 draw against a very good Colorado Spring Switchbacks side this past Wednesday. In this game we saw quite a few players from Sporting KC loaned down to SPR which brought some more quality to the side, but also aloud Coach Mark Dos Santos to rest some of his more usual starters. With SKC playing Seattle Sounders on Sunday and with the announcement of Matt Bester's injury this will undoubtedly have an effect on how SPR line up on Saturday night.
With the announcement of Matt Bester's injury it is almost certain that Kevin Ellis will be recalled from loan. Alec Kann and Chance Myers will surely also be recalled from their loan prior to Sunday, but imagine we'll see Ever Alvarado or Emmanuel Appiah continue to play with SPR. One last player that we won't see on Saturday night is Jimmy Mulligan who was recalled from his loan by New York Cosmos.
With Ellis being recalled I think we see either Tommy Meyer or Omar Ballo accompany Amer Didic. How will Coach Mark Dos Santos deal with his right back situation is something that should be interesting to see. He could either allow Johnny Grant to start out there or I could see him move Christian Duke out of the middle of the park and back to right back where he began the season. Lastly we'll likely Kempin return to the starting line up. I thought he had been doing a great job of organizing his backline and had really solidified the defense for SPR since taken back the starting job from Zac Lubin. Overall I thought SPR had a good game on Wednesday, but they'll need another good team performance to continue their climb for a playoff spot.
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Tyler Pasher had an excellent game against the Switchbacks. He was extremely dangerous, and Colorado Springs just simply didn't have an answer for the speedy winger. Pasher did play a full 90 mid week so how much we'll see of him I'm really unsure. I'd like to see Dane Kelly get a start up top over Mark Anthony Gonzalez, and hopefully find the back of the net to really help the USL all time leading scorer build some confidence. Lastly the midfield will be key. I thought the midfield trio of Ualefi, Christian Duke, and Alex Molano had been working well, and if I'm being completely honest I wasn't impressed with Appiah's performance on Wednesday. Molano was replaced by Appiah in the starting line up, but Molano did have an impact coming off the bench scoring the equalizer in the 95th minute.
I think SPR could come out and grind out a 1-0 result at home. SPR currently sit just one point below the playoff line, and a win tonight would almost surely help them leap into that eighth and final spot. The game will take place at 7:30pm and as always will be broadcast on the USL youtube channel.