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Music City disappointment for Swope Park Rangers

Three goals in the opening 16 minutes ended SPR’s hopes of causing another upset in the USL.

Felipe Hernandez scored the lone goal for SPR
Thad Bell

The Swope Park Rangers fell to Nashville SC 5-1 in a game that was over before it even started.

Paulo Nagamura made just two changes from Monday’s win over Louisville City. Abdul Rwatubyaye’s trade to Colorado meant that Jahon Rad, one of eight Sporting KC Academy products named in the match day squad, stepped into the number six role for his professional debut, with Camden Riley dropping back to play center back. The other change was between the posts, John Pulskamp was replaced by Sporting KC reserve goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.

The Rangers built themselves a grave early on, after allowing three goals in the opening 16 minutes, with all three goals coming from SPR defenders failing to track their runners. Former SPR forward Kharon Belmar scored a fourth for Nashville in the 55th minute after receiving a delightful ball from the midfield.

Felipe Hernandez scored against his hometown side to get nothing more than a consolation with a blast from distance that should have been easily saved, but the keeper seemed to misjudge the flight of the ball. Nashville added another late on to send the final score of a disastrous performance of 5-1.

After seven games played, Swope Park Rangers remain in 17th place in the Eastern Conference of the USL Championship, just one point separating them from climbing up to 15th place, which is currently held by Loudoun United. Nashville sit in sixth place of the same conference after nine matches with 14 points.

The Rangers were clearly frustrated with their performance, making simple mistakes that a team as good as Nashville are, we’re not going to let SPR get away with. A brace and an assist from Daniel Rios was plenty to take an experienced Nashville SC to a training match victory over a disappointing Swope Park Rangers side.

Swope Park Rangers will look to tighten things up when they return home to Children’s Mercy Park to face Atlanta United 2 on Sunday, May 19, with kickoff at 4:00 PM CT.