Sporting KC II suffered their fourth home defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss against Memphis 901 FC on Sunday afternoon. They have won just once in seven home games this season.
Sunday’s loss keeps SKC II in last place of the Central Division with a record of 3-9-5 and 14 points. Memphis now move into a playoff position and five points clear of SKC II.
There were some positives. There were seven first team players that got some much-needed minutes. One of which was John Pulskamp, who came up big to keep SKC II in the game in the second half after a rough game on Wednesday.
There were six first team players on loan including John Pulskamp, Roberto Puncec, Kaveh Rad, Jaylin Lindsey, Ozzie Cisneros and Wilson Harris. It was Puncec’s first appearance for SKC II and his first minutes since SKC’s 2-1 win over Austin FC in May. Cisneros returned to the starting XI for the first time since May after getting his first pro goal in Wednesday’s loss to Lou City.
Former SPR defender Mark Segbers made his return to Kansas City as part of the starting XI for Memphis. Goalkeeper Kyle Morton also got the start on loan from the Houston Dynamo.
There was no shortage of chances early. SKC II’s first chance came six minutes in when Kaveh Rad sent a wonderful long ball for Enoch Mushagalusa. The SKC II winger did well to bring the ball down, but then dragged his shot wide.
A minute later Memphis came down and created a chance. Kyle Murphy found Dre Fortune at the top of the box, but SKC II was fortunate to see his shot sail over.
Memphis found the opener 12 minutes in as Murphy scored his seventh goal of the season after blazing past Kaveh Rad and sliding it past the keeper to give the visitors the lead inside the first 15 minutes.
SKC II nearly found the equalizer in the 17th minute. Jaylin Lindsey found Mushagalusa at the top of the box, but his shot was just wide. That attempt was followed by another chance three minutes later. Jamil Roberts did really well to escape a defender, but his ball was just behind Wilson Harris, who sent his header over.
SKC II did find the equalizer in the 25th minute. After Kadeem Dacres tripped Mushagalusa just inside the box, Wilson Harris stepped up to convert the penalty. Harris sent his shot right down the middle for his first goal this season as the keeper dove to his right.
The hosts should have gone 2-1 up in the 41st minute, but a bad miss kept the score level. Harris did well to pick out his captain Christian Duke, but Duke sent his shot wide from about eight yards out with just the keeper to beat.
Memphis took the 2-1 lead three minutes into the second half. No one picked up Michael Salazar, and he made them pay with a powerful header to punish SKC II after a perfect cross from Mark Segbers.
Sporting II was in danger of leaking a couple more goals minutes later, but John Pulskamp came up with a big save before smothering another Memphis chance.
Not taking a couple of earlier chances, SKC II’s best chance came in the 79th minute. After a free kick was blocked, the ball fell to Jahon Rad but his blast was denied with a big save from the keeper.
One final chance came in the 85th minute. Jamil Roberts sent in a beautiful cross, but it narrowly missed Rojay Smith’s head. SKC II’s frustrations grew when the fourth official gave three minutes of added time. That was capped off when Jahon Rad was given a yellow card for something the referee didn’t even see.
Sporting KC II hit the road again next Saturday when they visit Louisville City FC.
Sporting Kansas City II: John Pulskamp; Isaiah LeFlore (Coby Jones 77’); Roberto Puncec (Aljaz Dzankic 46’); Kaveh Rad; Jaylin Lindsey (Kayden Pierre 59’); Jahon Rad; Ozzie Cisneros (Petar Cuic 77’); Christian Duke (C); Enoch Mushagalusa; Wilson Harris (Rojay Smith 59’); Jamil Roberts
Subs Not Used: Remi Prieur; Graham Smith
Memphis 901 FC: Kyle Morton; Niall Logue; Zach Carroll; Andre Reynolds II (Raúl González 72’) (Brecc Evans 83’); Leston Paul (C); Laurent Kissiedou; Dre Fortune (Francis Atuahene 60’); Mark Segbers; Michael Salazar (Dominic Oduro 72’); Kyle Murphy (Skylar Thomas 83’); Kadeem Dacres
Subs Not Used: Brady Scott; Rashawn Dally
MEM - Kyle Murphy (Andre Reynolds II) 10’
SKC — Wilson Harris 25’
MEM — Michael Salazar (Mark Segbers) 48’
SKC — Wilson Harris (yellow card; foul) 45+2’
SKC — Jahon Rad (yellow card; foul) 90+2’