PREVIEW: Saint Louis FC v Swope Park Rangers

PREVIEW: Saint Louis FC v Swope Park Rangers

 

Saint Louis FC: (8-10-7) 28 points, 23 games played; [11th in the Western Conference]

-Form Guide: LWDDL

 

Swope Park Rangers: (8-9-5) 29 points, 22 games played; [9th in the Western Conference]

-Form Guide: DWWDL

Match Details: Sunday, August 21st @ 6:00 pm CST.

 

Location: Children's Mercy Park (Kansas City, KS)

 

This Sunday, August 21st Saint Louis FC will travel to face Swope Park Rangers in the final match of the 4-game season series. STLFC started off the series in style, winning 3-0 at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in early May behind goals from Schillo Tshuma, Chad Bond and Irvin Herrera. In their first trip to Kansas City, however, FC found themselves on the other end of the result, losing 1-0 courtesy of a Tyler Pasher goal after just 1:06'. In the third meeting, honors were even as a second half Irvin Herrera penalty canceled out Diego Rubio's opener in front of a crowd of 4,582 at Soccer Park. Sunday's game will prove crucial as Saint Louis will be looking to grab a spot in the already tight race for the play-offs. The match will be played at Children's Mercy Park, a ground Saint Louis FC will be familiar with after last season's US Open Cup exploits. In the fourth round of the 2015 tournament, Sporting Kansas City hosted STLFC in the most attended 4th round game in the long history of the US Open Cup.  Over 19,000 fans turned out to see Sporting narrowly beat STLFC 1-0 through a second half Graham Zusi goal.   

Saint Louis FC will look to bounce back after last weekend's tough 3-4 loss against Sacramento Republic FC in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,453.  After going down 0-3 in the opening 17 minutes of the game, a frantic finish and goals from Mike Ambersley, Jordan Roberts and Chad Bond weren't enough to complete a miraculous comeback in what would be Dale Schilly's final game as Saint Louis FC head coach.

The match Sunday will mark the beginning of Tim Leonard's professional head-coaching career as the former assistant coach was named head coach of STLFC on an interim basis earlier this week.  The club has also announced the addition of Matt Caution as interim assistant coach for the remainder of the season. Leonard will be looking to get off to a winning start against St. Louis' cross-state rivals as FC currently sits on the outside of the playoff picture, looking in, and will need a strong finish to make the postseason for the first time in the club's history.

Saint Louis FC (7-9-7) are currently 11th in the Western Conference, ahead of San Antonio FC on goals-scored. STLFC are two points behind Arizona United for the 8th and final Western Conference playoff spot and one point behind both Real Monarchs and Sunday's opponents Swope Park Rangers.

The Rangers (8-9-5) are currently sitting 9th and a point ahead of Saint Louis FC with a game in hand. Swope are coming off a loss against Real Monarchs SLC and will be looking to get back to winning ways on Sunday night as they have seen their playoffs hopes slip in recent weeks as well.

 

Next Saturday,  August 27th, Saint Louis FC will be back home at World Wide Technology Soccer Park and they will face-off against San Antonio FC. It will be Beach Night at the Park.   Soccer fans won't want to miss the first ever matchup between the two franchises.

STLFC welcomes Oklahoma City Energy back to the park on short rest the following Wednesday, August 31st.  For more information, go to SaintLouisFC.com or call 636-680-0997.

Leading Scorers:

Saint Louis FC: Herrera (11)

Swope Park Rangers: Gonzalez (7)

Leading Assists:

Saint Louis FC: Ambersley, Dixon, Musa, Herrera (3)

Swope Park Rangers: Oliveira (4)

Player Availablity Report:

Brandon Barklage - Out, injury

Parker Maher- Out, injury

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