Swope Park Rangers continue their western conference climb against San Antonio FC tonight. SPR are coming off a big 3-0 win against Orange County Blues FC, a game which they not only dominated, but most importantly striker Dane Kelly finally got his second goal of the season. After the big three points last weekend SPR currently sit in 8th place in the western conference, and could really use another three points against San Antonio to continue to hold onto their playoff spot.
Doesn't seem as though we'll see any extra loanees from Sporting Kansas City for this game. Sporting Kansas City have quite a few injuries, and if we're being honest I thought SPR played well without them. So well actually that Omar Ballo received USL Team of the Week honors. The big tall center back wasn't a starter at the beginning of the season, but him and Amer Didic have really created a great partnership to anchor the Rangers defense.
Ballo wasn't the only player to receive team of the week honors for his great play, Alex Molano also was listed on the bench for the USL Team of the Week. Many including myself were nervous when Kevin Oliveira went down with a torn ACL, but Molano has really picked up the slack for the Rangers. I have to imagine he gets another start, and who knows maybe we'll see another free kick beauty.
The one question for tonights game is whether Tommy Meyer will continue to play right back for the Swope Park Rangers. After Jimmy Mulligan was recalled from loan by the New York Cosmos it left a huge void in the SPR backline. Tommy Meyer was the solution for the game against Orange County Blues, and he did do a serviceable job, but I really don't think he's Coach Mark Dos Santos' preferable long term solution.
San Antonio just snapped their six game unbeaten streak this past weekend losing 3-2 to LA Galaxy II. SAFC rely heavily on a pair of former MLSers in Jason Johnson and Carlos Alverez. Johnson is a former Houston Dynamo player, and the big bodied striker who plays very similar to the way Dane Kelly does. Alvarez will produce the creativity in the midfield, and SPR will rely on the tight marking of Ualefi and Duke to not allow him to add to his assist tally this season. San Antonio FC currently sit one spot below Swope Park Rangers in the playoffs, and just like SPR could really use these three points to make their own playoff push.
The game will take place at 7:30pm at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Park Soccer Village, or if you're watching from home you can find the game online on USL's youtube channel.