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Preview: Sporting KC II @ OKC Energy FC

SKC II are back on the road looking for points

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Thad Bell

USL Championship Regular Season- Matchday 15

Sporting Kansas City II @ OKC Energy FC

Saturday, July 24, 7:30 p.m. CST

Where: Taft Stadium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

How to Watch: ESPN+

Following a 14-day hiatus, Sporting KC II is back in action with a match against the OKC Energy. Sporting II is looking to extend their road winning streak to three games.

The visitors will be coming off their second consecutive road win, which came on July 10 against Atlanta United 2. Enoch Mushagalusa’s 38th minute strike was enough as SKC II held on for the 1-0 win. Goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh became the second first team player to keep a clean sheet for SKC II this season.

SKC II still sits at the bottom of the Central Division on 13 points with a 3-7-4 record. They sit four points out of the playoffs as things stand now.

Mushagalusa’s goal against Atlanta was his fifth of the year, now leading the team. Rojay Smith also has four goals while Tyler Freeman has three.

SKC II will be without forward Ropapa Mensah (groin strain) and defender Travian Sousa (hamstring strain). Forward Dominik Resetar (back) is listed as questionable.

This will be the third of four meetings between SKC II and the OKC Energy. Their first meeting ended in a 1-1 draw in Kansas City on May 7. The Energy took all three points on their own turf in the second meeting by a final score of 1-0 on June 23. Their final meeting will be in KC on September 4.

OKC Energy FC

The OKC Energy enter with a bit more confidence under manager Leigh Veidman. After beginning the year winless through eight games, leading to the firing of ex-SKC goalkeeper coach John Pascarella, the Energy have won four of their last six, picking up a total of 13 points since June 19.

The Energy enters this weekend in the final playoff spot from the Central Division with 17 points and a 4-5-5 record.

Their most recent win came in exciting fashion. After conceding the equalizer in the first minute of stoppage time, Hiroki Kurimoto volleyed in the winner for the Energy in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Villyan Bijev leads OKC with five goals. Frank Lopez follows with three goals and defender Conor Donovan is their only other multi-goal scorer. OKC keeper CJ Cochran is among the leaders in the USL Championship with four clean sheets.

Predicted Starting XI

Kendall McIntosh is predicted to get another start in goal with Danny Barbir at left back, though Coby Jones could get his first start as well. Petar Cuic will sit in front of the defense again with captain Christian Duke and Jake Davis in the midfield. A familiar front three will be back up top with a combined 12 goals this season.

Final Prediction

This should be another good matchup. A team that has played well on the road recently against a team that has turned things around after a bad start. A win for SKC II would be big for getting them closer to a playoff position.

I think both sides will split the points with a 1-1 draw.