Sporting Kansas City II vs FC Tulsa
When: Saturday, August 29th, 7:00 PM CT
Where: ONEOK Field, Tulsa, Oklahoma
How to Watch: ESPN+ ($4.99/month or 49.99 annually)
With a chance to get a second straight win against an opponent from Group D, Sporting Kansas City II will be looking for their fourth win of the season in their first visit to a minor league baseball park this year.
Saturday’s SKC II kickoff will come an hour before the first team kicks off their match against the Colorado Rapids. SKC II will have everyone back healthy except for Will Little, who hasn’t appeared in a match for the organization in over a year.
Sporting KC II winger Fredinho Mompremier could get a chance to go against his former side on Saturday, a place where he scored one and assisted one in 21 matches with Tulsa in 2019.
SKC II impressed last weekend with a 3-0 win over the OKC Energy. Wilson Harris’ first half brace put his scoring account to four goals this season. Center back Danny Barbir also became the second SKC II player to score multiple goals this season with a second half goal to end any comeback plans that the Energy might have had.
Currently fourth in Group E, Sporting II enter the matchup with a record of 3-5-1 and need another win on the road to keep up with the rest of the pack in Group E as they sit six points behind the playoff line.
Saturday’s contest will be at ONEOK Field, the home of the Tulsa Drillers, a double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is FC Tulsa’s first season under their new name after announcing their name change in December of 2019, getting rid of the Tulsa Roughnecks. Their 2-1-4 record in 2020 has them sitting two points shy of the playoff line behind Austin Bold FC.
FC Tulsa is also coming off their first loss of the season, which came at the hands of San Antonio FC by a 2-0 scoreline. FC Tulsa was also given two late red cards to Fabian Bastidas, who was making his 2020 debut after serving a suspension earlier in the season after previously having his contract terminated for using a racial slur in a game in 2019, and Eric Bird, who started the previous six matches.
Tulsa is managed by Michael Nsien, who is now in his second season as the manager and has created a tremendous transformation after finishing 2019 in 16th place in the Western Conference. He is accompanied by assistant coach and former Jamaican international and MLS veteran Donovan Ricketts. Also on FC Tulsa’s roster is former Sporting KC defender Cyprian Hedrick and Swope Park Rangers forward Lebo Moloto.
Tulsa’s attack hasn’t been great, with Moloto adding just one goal in seven matches. Dario Suarez and Rodrigo da Costa have each added two goals and are the club’s highest scorers this season. On the defensive side, FC Tulsa is one of the better sides in the league, conceding just seven goals from seven matches with goalkeeper Sean Lewis keeping two clean sheets along the way.
Predicted Starting XI
For this week’s predicted XI, I went with just two changes from last Saturday’s win over the OKC Energy. I picked Dominik Resetar coming back into the team along with Christian Duke resuming his captain duties after handing them off to Dillon Serna last week. Even with Brooks Thompson and Enoch Mushagalusa back healthy, I’d think Pulskamp will get the start again after picking up a clean sheet last time out and Freeman getting some more minutes under his belt on the wing.
While last week’s win wasn’t against one of the notable sides in the league, Paulo Nagamura’s side still played well and don’t need to change much.
I believe Sporting KC II can get a result, although it may be a bit tricky against an opponent difficult to predict.
For my final prediction, I think SKC II will come away with a 1-0 win. If SKC II can snatch an early goal like they did last week, that will put them in a prime position to get a good result a team that struggles to put the ball into the back of the net.