The Swope Park Rangers do not get much rest as they are back in action after just playing Sunday. They will face the Colorado Springs Switchbacks at 7:30 tonight at Children's Mercy Victory Field in Swope Soccer Village.
The Rangers are fresh off a 2-2 draw with Phoenix while the Switchbacks have not played for 11 days since they beat LA Galaxy II in Los Angeles.
Colorado (5-4-5) is tied for 3rd place with 20 points in the Western Conference and have a two game winning streak and three game unbeaten streak on the line
Swope Park Rangers (5-4-2) also have a three game unbeaten streak with two draws and a win in the month of June so far. The Rangers are in 7th in the Western Conference (17 points) but are just 3 points out of third with three games in hand on most of the teams above them.
“It is very balanced this year,” Swope Park head coach Nikola Popovic explained. “I think everybody can have the ambition to go to the playoffs. There are two teams that are away from the others, they have taken most of the points but with the others teams you cannot tell if this team will or will not achieve. Everybody is still in the game. It is too early, we are just coming to the first third of the season with more than half the games to still play. Another ten games and it will become more clear who can fight for the playoffs.”
Loans from the first team?
“We have some players coming from the first team like Daniel Salloi, like Cameron Iwasa, like Diego Rubio but this is normal for a B team so we have to be able to deal with this. It is a good experience for everybody,” Popovic stated.
If Diego Rubio is loaned as Popovic expects, he will probably get a good amount of playing time as he is still trying to get match fit. For Popovic he expects these moves from the first team to Swope Park so players can be ready to play for Sporting Kansas City. “It is fundamental because you need to have the rhythm of the game. When you are so long out from the field you lose a little bit of your rhythm. One of the roles of the B team is to support the first team and this is a fantastic moment he can come and feel a bit more of the game and get his rhythm back to be available to the first team. “
The schedule is not doing Swope Park any favors
As mentioned above, Swope Park will come into the game with just two days of rest while Colorado has had eleven days to be ready.
“It is normal and it happens with all of the teams. We will have to be able to recover in two days and play. There is no excuses. This cannot be an excuse for anybody,” Popovic stated after practice Tuesday.