Swope Park Visits Saint Louis In Match With Playoff Importance
Saint Louis FC welcomes the Swope Park Rangers tonight in a match that could have huge implications for the USL playoff race. The two teams holding the final two spots in the USL West kickoff tonight at 7 pm at Worldwide Technology Soccer Park.
Saint Louis FC earned a point last weekend in a 0-0 draw with Oklahoma City Energy FC, but the Swope Park Rangers earned three by beating San Antonio FC to leapfrog STLFC in the playoff race.
Tonight’s match is the third of four meetings between these two teams this season. Saint Louis FC won the first meeting 3-0 in St. Louis. Swope Park took the second meeting 1-0 in Kansas City. That meeting saw an early goal by the home team, a weather delay lasting 90 minutes and a torrential downpour for most of the time the teams were on the field. The teams wrap up their season series on Sunday, August 21 in Kansas City.
The USL West
With a record of 7-8-6 and 27 points, Saint Louis FC is currently holding onto the eighth and final USL West playoff spot by a single point over Seattle Sounders FC 2. Orange County Blues FC and San Antonio FC sit just two and three points behind STLFC, respectively. Saint Louis and Seattle have both played 21 games on the season, while Orange County has played 20 and San Antonio has played just 19.
Swope Park is sitting in 7th place with 28 points while Rio Grande Valley FC is in sixth with 28 points. Both teams have played 20 games.
Last Time Out For Saint Louis FC
Saint Louis FC played Oklahoma City Energy FC to a 0-0 draw last weekend at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. The home club had several chances to score, including Mike Ambersley putting a shot wide in the closing minutes, but couldn’t take the full three points.
Who Are The Swope Park Rangers
Swope Park Rangers FC is a first-year United Soccer League club that’s closely affiliated with Sporting KC of Major League Soccer. Swope Park has won its last two games, beating Orange County and San Antonio. The 2-1 win over San Antonio last weekend marked the club’s first come-from-behind victory of the season.
Mark Anthony Gonzalez leads SPR with seven goals and two assists on the season. The 21-year old was born in Bolton, Ontario and played college soccer at Evansville University. A game preview from the other side of the state predicts Gonzalez will come off the bench for Swope Park tonight and Dane Kelly will start in his place. That same preview refers to Irvin Herrera as “David” Herrera so take it for what it’s worth.
Kelly has scored in two straight games for SPR. Kelly made his USL debut back in 2011 and is the league all-time leading scorer.
The Swope Park roster also features Tommy Meyer, who played parts of four seasons in MLS with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Meyer played part of his high school career in St. Louis with Saint Louis University High School before playing at Indiana.
Five SPR players are under the age of 20 with Jaylin Lindsey and Ezra Armstrong being with 16 and 17 years of age, respectively, though neither has played more than five minutes this season.
Alec Dufty is on the Swope Park Rangers technical staff as the Goalkeeper Coach. Dufty played in St. Louis back in 2010 for AC St. Louis.
What To Expect From Saint Louis FC
Last weekend’s draw served as somewhat as a letdown for fans after the 2-1 win over Colorado Springs on July 23. The local side had a terrible month of July with that one win against three losses and two ties. This first game of August comes on short rest after playing on Saturday. After today, coach Dale Schilly’s team doesn’t play against until August 13 in Sacramento.
Brandon Barklage for STLFC tonight as he is out with an injury. Expect to continue to see more of Mitch Lurie and Tyler David in the lineup as we have seen in recent games.
Chad Bond and Sam Fink have both received four yellow cards on the season. Another yellow for either would result in a suspension and fine.
To hear more about from the fan’s perspective listen to the This Is Silly! podcast from the St. Louligans. The three hosts do a fantastic job of discussing the club and St. Louis soccer landscape. They also frequently have guests on from the team. Next week, they will be recording the podcast live from the International Tap House in Soulard with their special guest being Saint Louis FC general manager Jeremy Alumbaugh.
Catch The Action Live
Tonight is STLFC Gives Back night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. Fans are asked to bring either school supplies, soccer equipment or canned food to the park tonight to donate to those in need throughout the St. Louis area.
STLFC Gives Back
The club is hosting a happy hour from 5:30 to 7 pm prior to the match in the Bud Biergarten. $3 draft beers in the Budweiser family will be available as well as Stella Artois and Elysian Space Dust.
Tickets can be purchased online at SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0997. Individual tickets can also be purchased while supplies last at the DNT Box Office at World Wide Technology Soccer Park.
JED Transportation presents the Pub 2 Park shuttle service for free at each Saint Louis FC home match. Fans can enjoy free shuttle service to the park from one of four locations: iTap-Soulard, Amsterdam Tavern, Smugala’s Pizza-Sunset Hills and Hotshots-Fenton. Shuttles will leave at 5:45 pm this Saturday from Smugala’s, iTap and Amsterdam Tavern. The shuttle from Hotshots will leave at 6: 30 pm. Register for a Pub 2 Park shuttle here.
Watch the Action On Youtube
Every USL match is streamed live through YouTube. Be part of the virtual action through the USL Match Center.
Saint Louis FC vs Swope Park Rangers 8-3-16
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