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Preview: Sporting KC II @ FC Tulsa

Despite a bad start to the season, SKC II are near a playoff position.

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Enoch Mushagalusa has come on strong lately for SKC II
Thad Bell

USL Championship Regular Season- Matchday 9

Sporting Kansas City II @ FC Tulsa

Wednesday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. CST

Where: ONEOK Field, Tulsa, Oklahoma

How to Watch: ESPN+

Sporting KC II will conclude the second half of their two-game road trip with a visit to the struggling FC Tulsa.

The visitors are headed to the Sooner State on a three-game unbeaten streak. Sporting II is aiming to go four matches unbeaten, a feat they have not achieved since getting four straight wins in August and September of 2018.

They are coming from a tough 2-2 draw with Atlanta United 2 last Wednesday, giving up a one-goal lead twice in the second half. Enoch Mushagalusa became the team’s leading goalscorer with his first two goals this year.

Goalkeeper Remi Prieur has not been included in this week’s injury report for the first time this season. Defenders Isaiah LeFlore and Travian Sousa are still out with right hamstring injuries.

Sporting KC II currently sits in sixth place of the Central Division with seven points and a 1-3-4 record, trailing Tulsa by two points. A win for SKC II would carry them ahead of Tulsa and into fifth place.

Wednesday’s Central Division showdown will be the third meeting between SKC II and Tulsa this year. Tulsa came away with a 2-0 win on SKC II’s season-opener, but SKC II had an impressive 4-1 win earlier this month.

FC Tulsa

FC Tulsa has seen some major struggles over the past month. They have lost three straight and conceded 11 goals while scoring two. Their first loss was a 5-0 defeat to Atlanta United 2 with four first-half goals. Their second loss was in Kansas City, a 4-1 defeat where they conceded four straight.

In their most recent match on June 6, Tulsa managed to keep it close with a 2-1 loss against Birmingham Legion FC.

Under head coach Michael Nsien, Tulsa is looking to get back on track as they begin a big two-game homestand against Central Division rivals looking to keep them out of the playoffs.

Tulsa's leading scorer Joaquín Rivas will be out due to international duty with El Salvador.

Currently in fifth place of the Central Division, a win for Tulsa would give them five points of separation between them and SKC II. It could also put them into a playoff position, depending on what Indy does against Pittsburgh and what Lou City does against Birmingham.

Predicted Starting XI

With Prieur back healthy, I think he gets on the bench with Kendall McIntosh getting back into the starting XI as one of the six loans from the first team. Christian Duke returns to left-back with loanees Graham Smith and Kayden Pierre coming into the lineup. Cam Duke returns to the midfield on loan with Wilson Harris and Grayson Barber up front.

Final Prediction

These are two teams trending in different directions. SKC II are three unbeaten with six goals from their last two games. Tulsa has lost three straight, conceding 11 goals in those three games.

I think SKC II will get their first road win with a 2-1 win in Tulsa.