USL Championship Regular Season- Matchday 17
Sporting Kansas City II vs Memphis 901 FC
Sunday, August 1, 4:00 p.m. CST
Where: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
How to Watch: ESPN+
Sporting KC II is looking to return to the win column when they host Memphis 901 FC on Sunday.
Sporting II is coming off a midweek 2-1 loss against Lou City. After conceding twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half, a late goal from Ozzie Cisneros wasn't enough.
Wednesday’s loss kept SKC II in last place of the Central Division with 14 points and a 3-8-5 record. They enter the weekend trailing Memphis and the Indy Eleven by two points.
There has been a significant addition to the injury report. Joining defender Travian Sousa (groin) and forward Ropapa Mensah (hamstring) is midfielder Jake Davis (knee), who leads SKC II with 17 chances created. This comes after he suffered an injury in the first half of Wednesday’s loss, but seemed to be alright until coming off in the 72nd minute.
Joining the injured SKC II players out is first team players Grayson Barber and Amadou Dia, who will be out for health and safety protocols (though Tyler Freeman was removed from that list). Barber last played in SKC II’s win against Memphis in June and Dia last played in SKC II’s win over Atlanta United II on July 10.
Enoch Mushagalusa leads SKC II with five goals but has been limited since playing the last two matches as the center forward. Rojay Smith and Tyler Freeman follow with four goals and three goals respectively.
SKC II has already seen Memphis this season. They beat Memphis 3-2 in June for their first road win of the year. Both sides will meet again on Sunday before seeing each other an additional two times when Memphis visits KC again at the end of the month and SKC II visits Memphis in October.
Memphis 901 FC
Memphis 901 FC make their second-ever visit to Kansas City on Sunday coming off a big 1-0 win over FC Tulsa. A first half stoppage time strike from Kyle Murphy was the difference as Memphis keeper Kyle Morton earned his second shutout of the season.
That win took Memphis, who is under the leadership of Sporting Director Tim Howard, into sixth place of the Central Division with a 4-4-4 record and two points clear of SKC II with four games in hand.
Murphy’s goal against Tulsa was his team-leading sixth on the season. After Murphy, Memphis has Kadeem Dacres and Michael Salazar with two goals each. Laurent Kissiedou leads Memphis with two assists and 21 chances created. Former Swope Park Rangers (SPR) right back Mark Segbers has also created 16 chances.
With a 2-2-4 record away from home this year, Ben Birmann will be hoping to coach his side their first-ever win in Kansas City.
Predicted Starting XI
I predict Kendall McIntosh and Kaveh Rad return in the back five. I think Ozzie Cisneros might have done enough to finally return to the starting lineup for the first time since May. Hopefully Tyler Freeman is able to start up top, allowing Mushagalusa to return to the left wing.
This game is unlikely to be a five-goal thriller like it was last time these teams met in June. An afternoon game in early August in Kansas City isn’t a good idea, but it looks like the weather will calm down a bit.
I predict a 1-0 win for Memphis.