The Rangers picked up a big three points tonight at Children’s Mercy Park against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks in a hard fought 1-0 win. The lineup saw eight loaned players from Sporting Kansas City, with the second youngest signed MLS player, Gianluca Busio, among them. It was the 15-year-old phenomenon’s first pro debut tonight, and, let’s just say, it was one he can be very proud of. He notched an assist, achieved a perfect 100% in passing accuracy (30/30), made 2 key passes and 3 crosses — all in the first half.
The game started out strong for the Rangers who came out fast and energized in the opening minutes. It took them no time, seven minutes to be exact, to find the back of the net. The goal was framed beautifully from start to finish — Busio turns out of pressure and finds space, slots the ball through to Tyler Blackwood right inside the box, who then sets himself up perfectly for a rocket into the side left netting for his first goal of the season— 1-0 Swope.
Despite controlling most of the possession and seeing some dangerous chances in the first half, the Rangers were unable to extend their lead going into the second. The Switchbacks almost found the equalizer right before the half, but goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas came up with a big save — keeping the Rangers ahead 1-0.
In the second half, the Switchbacks presented more challenges for SPR — pressing high, attempting to force more turnovers, and getting some dangerous chances in and around the box. The Rangers remained strong, though, and kept control of the game, allowing them to get a much needed win before they hit the road to take on San Antonio FC this weekend.
The Switchbacks scoring drought now reaches the 305 minute mark after tonight’s match. They’ll look to break the streak at home this Saturday against the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros.