Swope Park Rangers took their first back to back loss since the middle of April, as they took a 3-2 loss against Loudoun United FC.
Paulo Nagamura put out his second youngest starting XI of the season, which included 18 year old goalkeeper, John Pulskamp. Ayyoub Allach also returned from injury with Killian Colombie getting his first start of the season. The only Sporting KC player on loan for this game was goalkeeper Eric Dick, who was on the bench.
Per usual, it was a fast paced opening 45 minutes that produced four goals. Loudoun United got the scoring started early through Kyle Murphy in the sixth minute after Camden Riley’s failed clearance found its way to Smith, who from six yards out didn’t make the best connection, in which Pulskamp was able to get a piece of it to be cleared away acrobatically, but the near side assistant referee deemed the entire ball had crossed the line for a goal. Pulskamp didn’t agree with the call, but from the press box it appeared to me that it was the correct decision.
The Rangers found an equalizer with Felipe Hernandez’s team-leading fifth goal of the season, after being given space from about 25 yards out, so he picked his spot and buried it.
The visitors regained the lead in the 39th minute after 16 year old Griffin Yow completely dismantled Kaveh Rad, and Yow has a simple finish past Pulskamp to put Loudoun up 2-1.
SPR equalized once more, but this time off a set piece in first half stoppage time. The delivery from Alexander was perfect for a free header from Wilson Harris to head home despite the keeper’s touch for the forward’s second goal of the season. Alexi Lalas would not be pleased with with the defending of Loudoun United on that set piece.
Loudoun United found the match winner in the 87th minute after a great passage of play that was finished off by Connor Presley [Editor: I added the gif in so you can remember this brutally good goal forever. Sorry].
SPR had their chances, but it seemed as if they were always a bit too slow too many times and were not clinical enough in front of goal.
Swope Park Rangers drop to 1-4-7 on the season, remaining in 17th place in the East. Loudoun United FC took a big step forward and now sit at 13th in the East with a 3-3-4 record.
It’s another chance missed for the Rangers to climb the table, as they have their work cut out for them to make the playoffs with just six points from the playoff line, but six other teams ahead of SPR at the moment. Sean Karani looked dangerous, but clearly is not too keen on using his left foot under any circumstance, which caused him to be predictable and lose possession in the final third on multiple occasions.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Rangers as they return to action on Saturday, June 8, when they host the Charlotte Independence.