Swope Park Rangers played one of their best games of the season on Wednesday night, but still managed to leave Children’s Mercy Park with just a point after a 2-2 draw against Memphis 901 FC.
Paulo Nagamura, coming off a draw from Sunday, mixed up the lineup. Just four starters remained in the XI. Sporting KC loaned goalkeeper Eric Dick and forward Tyler Freeman, who both started.
The starting XI for tonight's matchup with @Memphis901FC. #SPRvMEM // #SPRBelieve pic.twitter.com/sgIKcq5V0l— Swope Park Rangers (@SwopeRangers) May 22, 2019
Memphis opened the scoring after a long ball wasn’t dealt with well by Kaveh Rad, resulting in Memphis making a mess of a good chance inside of the 18, but SPR gave up a corner after making a mess of their own after failing to clear the ball, resulting in a desperation clearance from Eric Dick to knock it out for a corner.
Dan Metzger scores on the ensuing corner at the back post, tapping it into an open net from six yards out after he got free from his mark, Freeman.
In his first professional start, Sporting KC Academy product Sean Kazari, won SPR a penalty in the 34th minute.
Captain Camden Riley stepped up and converted for his first ever goal in professional soccer.
Mark Segbers gave SPR the lead with a glorious goal that involved a great passage of play from the home side in the 68th minute. Quite a few Rangers players got a touch but the sequence was finished off with Karani hitting a backheel to Alexsander who crossed the ball on the ground to a sliding Segbers. Both Segbers and Riley scored their first ever goals for SPR tonight, with Riley’s being his first ever professional goal.
Tristan Hodge provided Memphis with a quick response off a corner just five minutes later to salvage a draw.
Paulo Nagamura and his side were clearly frustrated at the result that they clearly thought they should have won. In the end, it is probably a fair result. Both keepers each had an impressive save.
Memphis came out full of energy, forcing a pace of play that was finally forced to slow down later in the second half. SPR’s Ethan Vanacore-Decker did well to hold up play when he needed to, but it seemed like Felipe Hernandez was overwhelmed by the physical opposition. The month of May has been the best month yet with three of Swope Park’s best performances coming in the last four matches.
The Rangers played another great 90 minutes for the most part, with 56% of the possession, but Eric Dick didn’t do himself many favors, as his inability to deal with balls in the air costed both goals off corners. Memphis did a great job crowding the six yard box, but the keeper didn’t control his ground with any confidence. He did make a remarkable save late on in the match to keep it 2-2.
Swope Park Rangers (1-4-5) remain in 17th place in the Eastern Conference of the USL Championship, but are now level on points with 16th place Charlotte Independence.
The Rangers hit the road for a game against the best team in the league, Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night, which can be seen on ESPN+. SPR return home on Wednesday, June 5, when they tame on Loudoun United FC.
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