Sporting Kansas City II vs Indy Eleven
When: Wednesday, September 9th, 6:00 PM CT
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
How to Watch: ESPN+ ($4.99/month or 49.99 annually)
Sporting Kansas City II will make their third visit to the home of the Indianapolis Colts this season for a meeting with the struggling Indy Eleven on Wednesday.
These two sides have met twice this season, with Indy winning in Sporting II’s first match after the restart before SKC II got their revenge in August. These two sides seem to match up well for another intriguing contest on Wednesday.
After back-to-back wins from inter-conference opponents, SKC II returned to group play in Week 11 and took a disappointing 3-2 loss to St. Louis FC on Friday. Wilson Harris scored a brace and John Pulskamp did well to only concede three, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a dodgy defensive performance from SKC II.
Harris’ brace last weekend has him sitting fifth in the USL Championship with seven goals this season, three goals shy of Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings.
It is nearing desperation time for SKC II with just five matches remaining in the regular season. While they have surpassed expectations in the ‘Group of Death’, they will be looking for all three points and look to close the six point gap between them and the playoffs in Group E.
Despite coming out of the gates hot, the Indy Eleven have surrendered what was once a commanding lead at the top of Group E to now sit second and one point clear of St. Louis FC in a fight for the final playoff position of the group.
Since the start of August, Indy has a record of 1-3-1 with just one point from Group E in a 1-1 road draw at Lou City. The goals up front have also dried up with just three goals from their last five matches while they’ve conceded eight times.
Former Swope Park Rangers forward Tyler Pasher was the only Indy player to score since July’s conclusion, adding three goals from their previous five matches. That puts Pasher into second in the league with nine goals. Pasher will have more support on the left wing from Ayoze, who will be available after being in-and-out of the squad due to injury and suspension this season.
Indy Eleven are coming off their second home loss of the season after Lou City grabbed a 3-1 win on Saturday. The visitors scored three times in the opening 43 minutes before Tyler Pasher smashed home a penalty in first half stoppage time.
Predicted Starting XI
Wednesday's predicted lineup features three changes with Brooks Thompson getting his turn in goal with Jahon Rad and Enoch Mushagalusa also returning to the starting XI. Jahon Rad was the holding midfielder last time these two sides faced off and did a fine job. While Barbir played poorly last match, I don’t see head coach Paulo Nagamura replacing him with Petar Cuic or Camden Riley. Mushagalusa is predicted to replace Fredinho Mompremier after his harmful performance in St. Louis.
This is certainly another intriguing matchup between two sides that struggled in group play recently. A loss would put SKC II in nine points back from the playoffs, but a win could bring them within three points of the playoffs.
For my final prediction, I think both teams will split the points with a 1-1 draw. With both sides having a quality forward, both teams will get a goal.