Saint Louis FC To Face Swope Park This Sunday At Children’s Mercy Park
Saint Louis FC takes on the Swope Park Rangers this Sunday night in a United Soccer League match at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. Kansas.
The game will mark the start of the Tim Leonard era as STLFC relieved Dale Schilly of his head coaching duties earlier this week. Leonard will take the head coaching reigns on an interim basis for at least the rest of the 2016 season.
This will be the fourth matchup between these two teams on the season. Saint Louis FC took the first match 3-0 back in May. Swope Park took the second 1-0 in a match marred by a torrential downpour and a 90-minute game delay. The teams battled to a 1-1 draw most recently on August 3 at Soccer Park.
Sunday’s match will be played at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, home of MLS-side Sporting KC.
The USL West
Saint Louis FC is currently tied for 11th place in the USL’s Western Conference. San Antonio beat Arizona United last night to move into the tie with our local lads at 28 points. Swope Park and the Real Monarchs are currently tied for 9th with 29 points. The aforementioned Arizona United currently holds the 8th and final playoff spot with 30 points.
After this week’s game, STLFC has six games remaining in the regular season. They face San Antonio and the Oklahoma City Energy twice each. as will as FC Cincinnati and Louisville City.
Last Time Out For Saint Louis FC
The local squad came out flat yet again last week at home against Sacramento. Republic FC scored three goals in the first 17 minutes of the game, putting the final nail in the coffin for Coach Schilly. Saint Louis FC would eventually battle back with goals from Chad Bond, Jordan Roberts and Mike Ambersley, but the damage was done. Sacramento took the full three points with a 4-3 win and STLFC slipped father down in the USL West.
Who Are The Swope Park Rangers?
The Swope Park Rangers are currently 8-9-5 on the season through 22 games. SPR fell to Real Monarchs SLC 1-0 last weekend. Before their draw with STLFC on August 3, the Rangers beat Orange County Blues FC and San Antonio on consecutive Saturdays.
Mark Anthony Gonzalez leads SPR with seven goals and two assists on the season. Daniel Salloi and Kris Tyrpak each have four goals apiece on the season.
Sunday’s game is the start of a five-game homestand for SPR. Aside from STLFC, Swope Park will also play Los Angeles, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, Tulsa and Sounders 2 at home.
Swope Park added Akeil Barrett of Jamaica earlier this week. Barrett, who played for Akron and Tulsa in college, was selected 25th overall by Orlando City SC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Since being waived by the MLS club, Barrett has played for Jacksonville Armada FC of the North American Soccer League and Piteå IF in Sweden.
SPR defender Amir Didic made his debut for Sporting KC earlier this week in the club’s Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match. Didic played the full 90 minutes for the senior side. There has not been an update on whether Didic will be available for SPR on Sunday, but Sporting does have another Champions League match coming up Tuesday as well as an MLS league match this weekend.
While Tim Leonard will be making his debut at the helm for Saint Louis FC, Marc Dos Santos will be coaching his first game as essentially a lame duck coach for Swope Park. Dos Santos, announced earlier this week that he will leave the Kansas City area at the end of the 2016 season to coach the San Francisco Deltas of NASL next season in their first year. Dos Santos was named the first head coach of the Swope Park Rangers back in November after being named the 2015 Coach of the Year in the NASL for his work with Ottawa Fury FC.
The Tim Leonard Era Begins
Tim Leonard is a bit of a mystery as a head coach. He’ll be making is head coaching debut on Sunday after serving as an assistant coach under Dale Schilly. During his playing days, Leonard played four years for Saint Louis University and served as the team’s captain during its 1997 Final Four run. Leonard grew up playing for St. Louis Scott Gallagher and currently serves as its Boys’ Director of MDL and PDL programs.
For more on the coaching change listen to this week’s episode of This Is Silly!, the St. Louligans’ podcast.
Leonard missed part of the last STLFC game against Swope Park as he was sent off by the head referee. As a result of the sending off, Leonard missed the team’s next game against Sacramento Republic FC.
With Leonard’s move to interim head coach, Matt Caution was brought on to serve as an interim assistant coach. Caution played his college ball at Missouri State and then played professionally for the Dallas Burn on MLS. He also played indoor soccer for the St. Louis Ambush and St. Louis Steamers, among other teams. He currently serves as the boy’s director of FC Missouri/Bayern Munich and is the technical director of Missouri Thorns FC. Missouri Thorns FC is an academy partner of the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League.
The USL has a story on Tim Leonard today on its website. In the article, Leonard said he will focus on the team’s habit of starting slow and will seek to play with a “little more freedom in the front third” moving forward.
What To Expect From Saint Louis FC
Alex Morrell and Collin Fernandez, on loan to Saint Louis from the Chicago Fire, made their teams debuts last time out. Both came on the second half with Morell playing 25 minutes and Fernandez playing 19. The Fire are hoping the two youngsters can play their way into expanded roles.
Irvin Herrera was recently selected to represent his native El Salvador in two of their upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches. He will be available this weekend, but will miss STLFC’s games against the Oklahoma City Energy FC and FC Cincinnati.
James Musa has been mentioned as a possible selection by New Zealand for their October game against the United States Men’s National Team. No doubt he will be watched closely this weekend by New Zealand soccer officials.
Catch The Action Live
With this week’s game being a short drive away from the St. Louis area, many fans will be making the trip to support our professional soccer team. The St. Louligans supporters group has a busload of more than 60 fans traveling to the game to represent and hold down a corner of Children’s Mercy Park.
While seats on the Louligans bus are just about sold out, plenty of tickets are available for the match at the 21,000-seat Children’s Mercy Park.
General admission tickets are available for as low as $8. Upgraded options are available for up to $15. In the section where the Louligans will be, tickets are priced at $10. You can get a discounted ticket for $10 with the code 16louligans and make sure the Sporting Kansas City organization knows just how many Saint Louis FC have made the trip.
The Swope Park Rangers have set up two different promotions in an effort to boost attendance for Sunday’s match. The club is giving out free tickets to three area elementary schools for their students and staff to use. As part of a Free Fridays promotion, SPR is offering 4 south stand general admission tickets for Sunday to anyone who makes a purchase of $30 or more at the Sporting Style pop-in store at Children’s Mercy Park.
Saint Louis FC will return on for a match on Saturday August 27th against San Antonio FC. The club’s last home game saw 5,453 fans in attendance so, you may want to get your tickets to this one early. You can do that by going to SaintLouisFC.com
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 KC 8-21-16
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