After four matches between the inherent rivals, the Swope Park Rangers and St. Louis FC finish the season on level terms. With a win, a loss and a draw in the first three matches, Sunday brought an opportunity for one side to earn bragging rights in this first season competing against each other. But they proved to be evenly matched once again with a 1-1 draw in a vacant Children's Mercy Park.
The match got off to a rough start when James Musa went in for a horrible tackle on Thomas Granitto. The Ranger was sent tumbling by both feet, and studs, but referee Aaron Hernandez decided a yellow card was enough. It was reminiscent of a previous match between these two sides. There seems to be a pattern of awful behavior from St. Louis that goes unpunished in these matches. Just before halftime, Musa would foul Granitto yet again and then very clearly intentionally step on him after doing so. Again the referee was lenient and felt a talking-to was fit for kicking a downed player in the head.
It took until the 80' minute for the first goal when STLFC took advantage of a miscue from Tommy Meyer. The Ranger CB attempted a back pass to Lubin but didn't put enough pace on it and Vince Cicciarelli ran onto the ball for an easy finish.
But The Rangers of Swope Park were not going to lay down easily. The visitors went into defensive mode and SPR was able to get more possession. In the 89' minute Akeil Barrett, who subbed on at the half to make his debut for Swope Park, would level the match. After some beautiful soccer from the Rangers in the final third, Dane Kelly was tackled in the box just before firing a shot. But Barrett was there to pounce on the loose ball and send it into the back of the net.
Swope Park came close to finding the winner in stoppage time, but the night ended in a 1-1 draw. Next up LA Galaxy II come to town on Saturday for a big match as the Rangers look to continue to climb the ladder of the Western Conference.