Swope Park Rangers battled to a 2-1 win over San Antonio FC this weekend, but the Rangers won't have long to dwell on this win. The game against San Antonio FC began a busy seven days for SPR. Coach Mark Dos Santos' team now look forward to their midweek game on the road against their cross state rivals St. Louis FC. This game will have some extra bite to it as both teams are hungry to hold to their playoff spot in a very tight western conference, and with St. Louis FC sitting just one point behind SPR.
With three games in seven days we might see a bit more rotation to the line up for this game. Tyler Pasher did not start against San Antonio do to supposed heat exhaustion, but I have to imagine we'll see him back plugged back into the starting lineup. Alex Molano has been playing well in the past couple weeks, but Ayrton just tallied his third assist in two days. I think we might see Molano start on the bench for this one and Ayrton given a start. Lastly with Mark Anthony Gonzalez playing a full 90 on Saturday, and Dane Kelly seeming to be finding some form, I think we see the USL's all time leading scorer get the nod up top.
For the second week in a row a Swope Park Ranger center back receives USL Team of the Week honors. Amer Didic was given the honor after putting together another great performance. Didic came into the season as an unknown, but since has become a staple in the Rangers backline. Him and Oumar Ballo had another exceptional game, but the player that I think also needs a lot of credit is Ualefi. Ualefi has done a great job of being the shield infront of the duo, and also of finding pockets of space to allow for easy options for two center backs getting their first games in professional soccer.
Last time these two met Swope Park Rangers ground out a 1-0 win against a very tough St. Louis side. Since that game St. Louis are 1-2-2, but appear to be on the upturn after a win against Colorado Springs Switchbacks and a tie against a very good Oklahoma City Energy team. Leading the side is Chad Bond, a physical midfielder who can also pick out a perfect pass, and Irvin Herrera who currently has ten goals and two assists on the season.
This will definitely not be an easy one for SPR with three points on the line in the middle of a busy week. As always be sure to catch the game on USL's youtube channel at 7:30pm.