Sporting Kansas City II vs St. Louis FC
When: Wednesday, August 5th, 7:00 PM
Where: West Community Stadium, Fenton, Missouri
How to Watch: ESPN+ ($4.99/month or 49.99 annually)
Flying high from their first two wins of the season over Louisville City FC and the Indy Eleven, Sporting Kansas City II are looking for their third consecutive win, something the club hasn’t achieved since September of 2018. On top of what’s at stake in the Group E standings, meetings between Kansas City and St. Louis rarely disappoint.
Currently in third place in Group E with six points, SKC II sit three points behind Wednesday’s opponents. The first of four visits to St. Louis, Sporting II could put themselves into a fantastic position with a win before their seven day break before they return to action again.
With 12 goals in the past 12 months, SKC II forward Wilson Harris has taken his game to an entirely new level recently and will be a constant threat going forward against a strong St. Louis defense. The only player listed as out for Wednesday’s matchup is Will Little, who last played for the club in August of 2019 and was last named to the bench in September of 2019.
Will Little is the only player who is listed as OUT for today's game between #SportingKC II and St Louis FC. No injury, just unavailable according to the report. The game is tonight at 7PM CT. #STLvSKC— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) August 4, 2020
Saint Louis FC has the advantage in all time meetings with four wins and four draws, while SKC II have won just twice. The two sides met twice in 2019, with STLFC grabbing the 3-1 win at West Community Stadium in April while Ethan Vanacore-Decker’s 82nd minute goal brought SPR to a 2-1 win at Children’s Mercy Park at the end of June.
Saint Louis FC
A much stronger team team than they were in their early days of the franchise, Saint Louis FC enters Wednesday’s matchup with a record of 3-2-0, which is currently second from Group E. STL are coming off their second loss of the season against Tim Howard and Memphis 901 FC.
In his first year in charge of Saint Louis FC, manager Steve Trittschuh is looking to bring STLFC to the playoffs for just the second time since their debut season in 2015. Saint Louis FC will be led going forward by former Swope Park Ranger Tyler Blackwood, who scored eight goals with SPR in 2018 and has scored nine goals since his move to Saint Louis FC ahead of the 2019 campaign. Along with Blackwood is another familiar face to the Kansas City area, as former Benedictine College standout and Kansas City Brass forward Kyle Greig has scored 21 times for the club, with one goal this season.
Under the captaincy of former Real Salt Lake defender Phanuel Kavita, STL will look continue their defensive discipline with two shutouts already this season and a total of four goals conceded, which is tied for the least in the league from all teams with at least five games played.
Predicted Starting XI
Another match that will require rotation has my predicted starting XI with six changes from Saturday’s win. With the uncertainty of the health of goalkeeper Brooks Thompson, I opted with Remi Prieur to get his second start for SKC II. Along with the return of Prieur is the return of Kaveh Rad in the back line to replace Danny Barbir while Camden Riley will likely return to replace Jahon Rad. The predicted XI also has Cameroonian midfielder Duval Wapiwo replacing Jake Davis while both wingers will be switched in favor of Enoch Mushagalusa and Jaret Townsend.
While the possibility of Peter Vermes sending down some first team players to SKC II is great, I continued to select SKC II-based players once again. The obvious players that could be sent from the first team to join Paulo Nagamura’s squad are John Pulskamp, Tyler Freeman, Cameron Duke, Jaylin Lindsey, Wan Kuzain, and Felipe Hernandez although it wouldn’t be a surprise if Vermes sends Daniel Salloi in an effort to get some confidence and Amadou Dia to give Dillon Serna a rare rest.
The final result will rely heavily on if and who is in the squad for Sporting KC II. If the roster is similar to their opening week loss to the Charlotte Independence in March, which featured six first team players in the starting lineup.
In the end, I think if there is one or two first team players, SKC II will be capable of coming away with a positive result, but if it is as many as six players, then it may become very difficult.
For the final prediction, I think Sporting KC II will split the points with a 1-1 scoreline. Two teams with quality forwards and a solid defensive shape, but maybe not making the best use on the wings for SKC II.