Sporting Kansas City II vs Indy Eleven
When: Saturday, August 1, 2020, 6:00 PM CT
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
How to Watch: ESPN+ ($4.99/month or 49.99 annually)
Fresh from their first win in nearly ten months, Sporting Kansas City II will have yet another tough match ahead with the Indy Eleven. Indy Eleven will be looking to widen the gap between them and Sporting II to a whopping 15 points, although SKC II will have two matches in hand.
SKC II have already visited Indy Eleven once this season, which ended in a 2-1 loss in their first game since the restart. With another couple games under each team’s belt in a cooler environment, it should make for a better display than the meeting on July 18th.
Under the management of Paulo Nagamura, Sporting KC II have looked a much better side than in 2019 and offered more competitive matches this season. Led by captain Christian Duke, SKC II enter Saturday’s matchup with a record of 1-3-0 and are coming off their first win of the season over Louisville City FC.
With four goals from the opening four matches of the season, Dominik Resetar and Wilson Harris are the only SKC II players to register a goal. Resetar notched his first with the club in Wednesday’s win in Louisville while Wilson Harris has carried his top form at the end of 2019 into 2020 with two goals from three matches since the restart.
Indy Eleven enter Saturday’s match coming from a 4-1 win over Hartford Athletic on Wednesday, where Indy had four different goalscorers help them to extend their impeccable record at Lucas Oil Stadium which hasn’t seen a regular season loss in over two years. Wednesday’s win for Indy put them back on track after they were derailed last weekend by a 1-0 loss against St. Louis FC.
The highest scoring team in the USL is led by the league’s leading scorer, former Swope Park Ranger standout (and SKC player) Tyler Pasher has opened up the season with six goals in six matches, including a missile in stoppage time to beat the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on July 22nd.
Pasher has been accompanied in scoring by seven other players, including two defenders in Neveal Hackshaw and captain Paddy Barrett. Under third year manager Martin Rennie, Indy Eleven enter Saturday’s contest with a record of 5-1-0. Indy’s quick start out of the gates has given them a nine point cushion ahead of Louisville and a six goal cushion ahead of St. Louis in the playoff hunt.
Predicted Starting XI
This weekend’s prediction features a total of five changes from the midweek win over Louisville. Highlighting the predicted starting lineup for SKC II is Brooks Thompson’s possible return as he returns to his hometown state of Indiana.
Accompanying Thompson in the back line will be Dillon Serna and Kaveh Rad, but Sam Raben will return to right back while Danny Barbir is predicted to get his second consecutive start at left center back, giving Petar Cuic a rest for the first time this season.
Camden Riley is predicted to slide back into the holding midfield role with captain Christian Duke keeping his spot with Jake Davis returning to the starting XI. Jaret Townsend is the only one who is predicted to keep his spot in the forward line as Wilson Harris and Fredinho Mompremier return to the starting lineup to replace Dominik Resetar and Enoch Mushagalusa.
This match can unfold in many different ways. With fixture congestion starting to really become an issue with both sides coming off three days rest, it will be interesting to see how the managers select their squads and players continue to handle it.
While this might be tough to expect SKC II to get a result, it wouldn’t be too surprising if they do considering how well they’ve played recently with a younger squad and both teams lacking rest. On the other side, however, Indy Eleven have a deeper squad with more experience, which could open the match up a bit too much if SKC II aren’t careful.
For my final prediction, I’m going to predict a 2-1 win for Indy Eleven. In the end, it is going to be difficult to contain Tyler Pasher, who will be accompanied by players all around him looking to solidify themselves into the starting XI.