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Sporting KC II suffer worst defeat in club history against Birmingham

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A 6-0 thrashing that started early.

Thad Bell

Sporting KC II was on the losing end of a 6-0 thrashing on Sunday away to Birmingham Legion FC on Sunday at BBVA Field.

Four first-half goals and two goals in the second half were plenty to send SKC II home with their worst-ever defeat, overtaking the 8-3 defeat SKC II suffered against Louisville City in 2020 and several other four-goal defeats. SKC II keeper John Pulskamp finished the match with six goals conceded and three saves.

With SKC II’s fate ready determined with a last-place finish in the Central Division, Sunday’s result put SKC II with a -30 goal differential and a record of 4-19-8.

SKC II was without Ropapa Mensah (groin). Jake Davis was also out as he finally served his one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation after SKC II was issued a fine and a forfeit after their 1-0 win over Atlanta United 2. The forfeit turned the 1-0 win into a 3-0 loss in their last ever USL home match.

Paulo Nagamura’s men lined up with four first-team loans including John Pulskamp, Kayden Pierre, Graham Smith and Ozzie Cisneros. Grayson Barber was also named to the bench.

Coming from a scoreless draw last weekend at OKC Energy FC, Birmingham made two changes to their starting XI. Still fighting for the top spot in the division, Birmingham put out a strong lineup highlighted by Neco Brett and his 17 goals this year.

It took just four minutes for Birmingham to take the lead. After Graham Smith’s header to clear the shot off the post fell to Zachary Herivaux, the former New England Revolution midfielder brought the ball down on his chest and stroked it in from inside the six-yard box. Originally called for offsides, the goal was given.

The visitors went 2-0 down in the 18th minute when Birmingham leading scorer Neco Brett assisted Bruno Lapa. Receiving the throw inside the box, Brett laid it off for Lapa, who let the ball travel across his body before lashing it into the net overpowering Pulskamp’s fingertips.

Birmingham came close to making it 3-0 in the 22nd minute, but Pulskamp and Kayden Pierre did enough to put Junior Flemmings off. They did make it 3-0 nine minutes later when Graham Smith’s sliding clearance got caught under him and fell to Neco Brett, who swept the ball into an open net from six yards out.

The first half got even worse for SKC II in the 40th minute when Birmingham made it 4-0. Lapa got his second of the day after he reacted quickest to the loose ball from 17 yards out.

One of the few positive moments from the first half came from Mataeo Bunbury. The 16-year-old had an effort in the 41st minute saved by the keeper at full stretch.

Birmingham cooled off in the second half, but they did add a fifth in the 70th minute when Junior Flemmings turned and had enough to beat the fingertips of Pulskamp.

Prosper Kasim made it 6-0 in the 76th minute for Birmingham. Receiving the ball at the top of the box, the 24-year-old made no mistake with a one-time hit past Pulskamp.

SKC II had a couple of decent moves in the second half and some hopeful shots from distance but failed to give much trouble to the Birmingham defense as goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel secured his ninth shutout of the season.

Sporting II will wrap up the season with a visit to Oakland Roots SC on Saturday.

Sporting KC II: John Pulskamp; Isaiah LeFlore; Aljaz Dzankic; Graham Smith; Kayden Pierre (Michael Lenis 78’); Christian Duke (C) (Jahon Rad); Petar Cuic; Ozzie Cisneros (Daniel Gutierrez 78’); Enoch Mushagalusa; Zion Long (Jamil Roberts 46’); Mataeo Bunbury (Rojay Smith 46’)

Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur; Danny Barbir

Birmingham Legion FC: Matt Van Oekel; Ryan James; Phanuel Kavita (C) (Benjamin Ofeimu 46’); Alex Crognale; Jonathan Dean (Jacob Rufe 72’); Anderson Asiedu (Thomas Vancaeyezeele 46’); Zachary Herivaux (Eli Crognale 73’); Neco Brett (Jaden Servania 64’); Bruno Lapa; Prosper Kasim; Junior Flemmings

Subs Not Used: Trevor Spangenberg; JJ Williams

Scoring Summary:

BHM — Zachary Herivaux 4’

BHM — Bruno Lapa (Neco Brett) 18’

BHM — Neco Brett 31’

BHM — Bruno Lapa 39’

BHM — Junior Flemmings (Jonathan Dean) 70’

BHM — Prosper Kasim (Bruno Lapa) 76’

Misconduct Summary:

BHM — Phanuel Kavita (yellow card; foul) 40’

BHM — Anderson Asiedu (yellow card; foul) 45’

BHM — Zachary Herivaux (yellow card; foul) 64’

SKC — Michael Lenis (yellow card; dissent) 86’