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Preview: Sporting KC II vs FC Tulsa

Sporting Kansas City II are still looking for their first win of the season.

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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

USL Championship Regular Season- Matchday 7

Sporting Kansas City II vs FC Tulsa

Wednesday, June, 2, 7:00 p.m. CST

Where: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas (closed to public)

How to Watch: ESPN+

Sporting Kansas City II will wrap up their two-game homestand on Wednesday when they host FC Tulsa.

With the next three SKC II games coming on Wednesdays, this first one will come from short rest against a well-rested FC Tulsa. Sporting enter Wednesday in seventh place in the Central Division with three losses and three draws. A win would take them into sixth place, switching places with the OKC Energy.

SKC II is coming off an entertaining 0-0 draw against El Paso Locomotive FC thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper John Pulskamp, who earned a spot in the Week 6 USL Championship Team of the Week.

With a shutout now in the books, SKC II needs to get their offense going. They created some good chances against El Paso, now they just need to finish their chances with just two goals in their opening six matches.

Sporting KC II’s injury report has upgraded goalkeeper Remi Prieur (left knee) to questionable for the first time this season. Defenders Isaiah LeFlore (right hamstring) and Travian Sousa (right hamstring) remain out.

These two sides previously met in Sporting II’s first match this season, where SKC II suffered a 2-0 loss after two first-half goals in Tulsa. That was Tulsa’s first-ever win over SKC II.

SKC II previously beat them in eight of their previous nine meetings before this season, only dropping two points for a 1-1 draw in 2018. SKC II’s last win over Tulsa came last year when Wilson Harris and Fredinho Mompremier powered Sporting II to a 2-1 win.

FC Tulsa

Wednesday’s match will be Tulsa’s first visit to Kansas City since both sides rebranded. Tulsa, then known as the Tulsa Roughnecks, lost all four matches in Kansas City against the Swope Park Rangers. Their last visit came in 2018 when Wan Kuzain and Hadji Barry scored in a come-from-behind 2-1 win for SPR.

FC Tulsa enters the matchup in third place in the Central Division with three wins and a loss. A win for them would take them back to the top of the division. Their single loss this season came in their most recent outing, a 5-0 smashing against Atlanta United 2 on May 19.

The visitors will be without their leading goal scorer, Jouquín Rivas (El Salvador), and leader in assists, Jorge Luis Corrales (Cuba), due to international duty as the duo play a pair of 2022 World Cup Qualifying matches.

In their absence, Tulsa will look more to Dario Suárez, who has two goals this year. Former SKC Academy player Ciaran Winters could also get some time, making four substitution appearances this season adding up to a total of 19 minutes this year. Former SPR midfielder Lebo Moloto still has yet to make his season debut for Tulsa.

Predicted Starting XI

With the first team off until June 12, we could see some more loans.

Pulskamp gets another start in goal, supported by the same back four that did enough to get the first shutout of the season on Sunday. A brand new midfield comes in play with Jahon Rad, Ozzie Cisneros and Jake Davis return to the starting XI. Grayson Barber retains his starting spot, joined by Ropapa Mensah and Tyler Freeman.

Final Prediction

From their opening six games, Sporting KC II have created a pattern of lose-draw. Coming off a draw, the pattern says that SKC II will lose to Tulsa.

For my final prediction, I think the pattern will continue and Tulsa wins it 2-0. SKC II might be able to hold their own since Tulsa are without two of their top players, but it won’t be enough unless they can score.

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