Sporting Kansas City II vs Austin Bold FC
When: Tuesday, September 22nd, 8:00 PM CT
Where: Bold Stadium, Del Valle, Texas
How to Watch: ESPN+ ($4.99/month or 49.99 annually)
Officially eliminated from the playoffs, Sporting Kansas City II will be taking up the spoiler role for the remaining three matches, which begins with their first ever meeting with Austin Bold FC on Tuesday.
Sporting II is coming off another tough loss to St. Louis FC. After coming back from 2-0 down to tie it up at 2-2 with goals from Petar Cuic and Isaiah LeFlore, SKC II’s efforts were awarded a harsh gift as Sam Fink headed in the stoppage time winner for STL FC.
SKC II will be without goalkeepers Gavin Krenecki and Brooks Thompson as well as midfielder Will Little.
#SportingKC II Injury Report:— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) September 22, 2020
- GK, Brooks Thompson
- GK, Gavin Krenecki
- Jack of All Trades, Will Little
Expect to see player/coach Mitch Hildebrandt at least on the bench with all the injured keepers. #AUSvSKC
Paulo Nagamura’s side enters Tuesday’s contest in fourth place from Group E with a record of 4-8-1. Wilson Harris has been held scoreless in the last two matches, which has caused him to fall in the scoring charts with seven goals this season.
Austin Bold FC
Founded in 2017, the Austin Bold is currently in their second season in the USL. Led by Brazilian manager Marcelo Serrano, Austin is eyeing their second straight playoff birth, but sit one point behind FC Tulsa for Group D’s final postseason spot with a 3-3-6 record.
The Bold are winless from their last five and coming off a 3-2 defeat to San Antonio FC.
Austin have several players that may be familiar names to some. First, former Sporting KC midfielder Amobi Okugo has started all twelve of Austin’s matches this season after joining the franchise ahead of their debut season in 2019. While Okugo has yet to register a goal or an assist, he is still an integral player in their system. Another former SKC connection is Kris Tyrpak, although he opted out of the 2020 season after scoring nine goals in 2019.
The player that may be familiar is Jamaican international Je-Vaughn Watson, who joined the organization this year after spending time in the MLS with the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, and the New England Revolution before shorter stints with the Charlotte Independence and most recently with the OKC Energy. Watson got his first minutes of the season in their loss against San Antonio FC last week. Jermaine Taylor, another Jamaican international, captains the Austin side and anchors the defense. Taylor has started all twelve matches for the Bold.
With 24 goals scored this season, the Bold has one of USL’s most dynamic attacks led by Billy Forbes’ six goals, with seven others having multiple goals as well. Austin aren’t the greatest team on the defensive end, conceding 24 goals so far.
Predicted Starting XI
Since this will be the first game since SKC II’s postseason elimination, it will be interesting to see how the team approaches the final three matches. For the predicted XI, I have five changes from Saturday’s loss in St. Louis with more established players like Christian Duke and Camden Riley returning to the lineup while Jahon Rad, Isiah LeFlore, and Dominik Resetar are also predicted to join the XI.
While the Austin Bold hasn’t had great form recently, they still enter the match in the thick of a playoff hunt and still in better form than SKC II.
For my final prediction, I’m going to predict a 3-2 win for the Bold. Austin will be eager for the win still with everything to play for.