Before the Swope Park Rangers open their 2019 season, they’ll get underway in the preseason with six games. The club announced them Monday and all three home games will see the team return to the place they are named after, Swope Soccer Village.
Overall the club will play six games in preparation for the 2019 season. The first game is this coming Saturday, February 2nd against Barton Community College. They also have games against Iowa Western Community College, USL League One side North Texas SC (FC Dallas), fellow USL Championship club the Tulsa Roughnecks FC, Creighton University and USL League Two club Texas United FC.
The games against both community colleges and Texas United FC will be at home while the other three games will be played on the road (full schedule with dates/locations below).
SPR Preseason Schedule
|Saturday, Feb. 2||Barton Community College||2pm||Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, MO)|
|Saturday, Feb. 9||Iowa Western Community College||2pm||Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, MO)|
|Wednesday, Feb. 13||North Texas SC||11am||Toyota Soccer Center (Frisco, TX)|
|Saturday, Feb. 16||Tulsa Roughnecks FC||1pm||Titan Sports and Performance Center (Tulsa, OK)|
|Saturday, Feb. 23||Creighton University||1pm||Morrison Stadium (Omaha, NE)|
|Saturday, March 2||Texas United||2pm||Swope Soccer Village (Kansas City, MO)|
Swope Park will have to look to add some more roster depth as they currently don’t have enough players to even fill the field with just nine players signed for the 2019 season. Expect some announcements to come this week. Along with that it’s likely some players will be on trial with the club for these games as in years past.
Currently Felipe Hernandez, Will Little, Wilson Harris and Justin Bilyeu are with Sporting Kansas City in Scottsdale, Arizona going through preseason. The first leg of preseason wraps after the game on Wednesday and it’s likely all four will return to join SPR.
One player who could be available is former SKC Academy product Joseph “Joey” Piatczyc. Joey went to college at West Virginia University and was drafted in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls. However, he isn’t listed on their camp roster. The story says, “four players currently contracted to NYRB II will join camp, along with four of the Red Bulls’ 2019 MLS SuperDraft picks.” The catch is the Red Bulls picked seven players in the draft and it seems their two first rounders and two second rounders are getting invited. Piatczyc’s rights would be owned by RBNY so it’s possible he’ll go to preseason with NYRB II but that’s unclear at this moment.
It’s more likely other players from the SKC Academy who weren’t drafted could appear as well as players we haven’t yet heard about. The current roster for Swope is listed below.
SPR Roster - 1/8/19
|85||Felipe Hernandez||MID||6/8/1998||SKC Academy|
|49||Will Little||MID||4/9/1998||SKC Academy|
|77||Camilo Benitez||FWD||8/16/1999||SKC Academy|
|96||Wilson Harris||FWD||11/28/1999||SKC Academy|
|72||Justin Bilyeu||DEF||2/3/1994||New York Red Bulls (MLS)|
|95||Rassambek Akhmatov||MID||5/31/1996||FC Miami City (USL League Two)|
|91||Ethan Vanacore-Decker||FWD||10/6/1994||North County United (USL League Two)|
|Ayyoub Allach||MID||1/28/1998||Lierse SK (Belgium)|
|Jerome Ngom Mbekeli||MID||9/30/1998||MFK Vyskov (Czech Republic)|