Swope Park Rangers vs Charleston Battery
When: Saturday, July 27, 7:00 PM CT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
How to Watch: ESPN+ ($4.99/month or $49.99 annually)
The Swope Park Rangers will look to win their fifth game of the season as they host the Charleston Battery.
The last match between these two sides was a 1-1 draw on June 22nd at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The match drew two red cards in stoppage time, one for Battery forward Ian Svantesson for a poor challenge and a second yellow card to SPR’s Adrian Zendejas for sprinting to midfield to protest the challenge.
The Battery enter Saturday’s matchup after a 3-2 road win against Hartford Athletic last weekend, coming back from 2-1 down in the last 15 minutes of the game.
Manager Mike Anhaeuser, head coach of this club since 2005, has led the Battery to six wins, eight draws, and four losses, putting them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Zeiko Lewis leads Charleston with six goals, followed by Ian Svantesson with four in 2019. With a +2 goal differential, the Battery are a well balanced team, but have had a difficult time keeping a clean sheet.
The Rangers are coming off a bad loss in Canada, losing 4-0 to the Ottawa Fury last week. SPR sit in 16th place in the East with three wins, six draws, and ten losses. Felipe Hernandez still leads the Rangers with eight goals, while Kelyn Rowe and Ethan Vanacore-Decker each have three.
SPR will be without forward Tyler Freeman, who will be away with the US U-17’s for a training camp until August 17th in Carson, California. The Rangers signed former SKC Academy player and former Kaw Valley FC standout Tucker Stephenson earlier this week.
Eric Dick hasn’t seen action since being loaned to the Tulsa Roughnecks on June 29th, so I believe he’ll get the start. Alexsander will start with the return of Mark Segbers on the opposite side with Graham Smith and Kaveh Rad starting in the back. Ayyoub Allach, Felipe Hernandez, and Kelyn Rowe will start in the midfield after Rowe’s SKC stock seems to have hit a record low. Jerome Ngom Mbekeli and Will Little will start on the wings with Ethan Vanacore-Decker returning to start up top.
This is a winnable game for the Rangers, although it won’t be easy against a well balanced team. To avoid defeat would be a positive result, though it wouldn’t be helpful to their already slim playoff chances.
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