UPDATE: The Swope Park Rangers vs. Tulsa Roughnecks match has been postponed and will be rescheduled to a later date.
Swope Park Rangers cap off a busy seven days with another road game against fellow western conference foes, the Tulsa Roughnecks. Swope Park Rangers are coming off a very sufficient road tie against St. Louis FC, but will be looking to take all three points from a Roughnecks team that has had its ups and downs this season but primarily it's downs.
Tulsa are entering the game in last place in the Western Conference, but they have been better as of late. My friend Roger Graham from the Tulsa Soccer Show and I have had several conversations this year about the struggles of his team. It does appear to me that they might be on a slight bit of an upturn. Need an example? Look no further than the difference in scores from their June 11 game against St. Louis FC (TRFC lost 7-1) and the game against St. Louis again on July 15 (they won 2-0). Most of their success lies firmly on the shoulders of former Seattle Sounders player Sammy Ochoa, and on a pair of recently acquired center backs, Isaiah Shafer and Devin Morgan.
As for Swope Park Rangers I thought they had an alright game on the road against St. Louis FC. If I'm going to be honest I thought the PK call was harsh on Tommy Meyer who I think continues to do a surprisingly good job at right back. It was also good to see Tyler Pasher return to the line-up and he was just as dangerous as ever.
As far as how the Sporting Kansas City loanees worked out I think Rubio playing 80+ minutes and getting a goal will really boost his confidence and we should see him more with CONCACAF Champions League quickly approaching. I am still not sold completely on Emmanuel Appiah. Thought Appiah had an alright game against St. Louis, but nothing really too spectacular to make me think it was a good pick up from SKC. Pretty sure both of these guys will be recalled by Sporting who are still dealing with serious depth issues do to injuries.
Overall there is little doubt in my mind that Swope Park Rangers will win this game. Tulsa just haven't been good enough this year, and with them playing on tired legs as well from a Thursday night game against Orange County Blues, I see SPR taking full advantage. As always be sure to catch the game on USL's youtube channel. The game kicks off at 7:30 pm.!