Sporting KC II (7-8-2, 23 points) suffered a 3-0 loss to Tacoma Defiance (10-3-4, 37 points) at Children’s Mercy Victory Field on Friday night’s return to the Swope Soccer Village accept. Tacoma took an early lead, scoring in the third minute of the game and never looking back.
The SKC II’s starting XI saw a change from the previous game, with Jake Davis and Kaveh Rad joining Kendall McIntosh on loan from Sporting KC. Coby Jones came in for Joseph Addo Tetteh and the rest of the starters stayed the same.
Despite Tacoma scoring the first goal, SKC II wanted to play up front just seconds into the game. After Josh Coan got the ball rolling, the Defiance landed the ball. Striker Rauf Salifu forced a turnover, unleashed a shot and curled it inches wide of goal.
At the other end of the field, Tacoma worked the ball forward. The ball was spread wide to Randy Mendoza, who sliced into the box and slipped it to Georgi Minoungou, who put the visitors ahead in the third minute.
Immediately after the kick-off, Julian Vazquez brought the ball into the offensive third and was hacked to the ground. Fernandez whipped a good ball into the area, which was directed to the back post by Andrew Thomas. The keeper came off his line, punched the ball and clapped it into Salifu. No foul was called and play resumed with Salifu on the touchline for a moment.
SKC II continued to harass the Tacoma backline, not allowing them to play from behind. Davis regained the ball for SKC II before handing the ball to Fernandez. The midfielder sent another handsome ball into the penalty area, which floated an inch too high from its target and into Thomas’ hands with a bounce.
Roles switched in the 14th minute when Fernandez Davis played wide against the end line. The first-team loanee played a turf burner into the box that separated Vazquez and Salifu and harmlessly jumped out of harm’s way. Vazquez got the ball back and attempted a cheeky ball that bounced just wide of the target and just out of his man’s reach.
The leveler went wrong again five minutes later when Fernandez latched on to a poor release and hit his try into a Defiance defender at the top of the 18-yard box. Tacoma doubled his lead with a counterattack in the following corner. Marlon Vargas, the club’s top scorer, picked up a through ball in his own half, dribbled the length of the field and converted a one-on-one try.
The hosts let their most dangerous attack of the half fizzle out at the last moment. Salifu gained access to the penalty area after dispossessing a defender and shoved a pass at Vazquez. The winger moved to take the shot but was knocked off his foot by the final defender at the very last second. Halftime came with Tacoma to two goals to none.
The second half came and with it three substitutions from Sporting KC II. Spencer Glass, Kian Alberto and Bakary Bagayoko came on for Jones, Vazquez and Salifu as SKC II tried to break through the Defiance defense. Unfortunately, it was Tacoma who scored the opening goal in what would prove to be the only goal of the second half.
Another counterattack was blocked by Vargas as they quickly played the ball through their lines into the SKC II’s defensive third and into the goal in the 53rd minute.
Alberto tried to put the home side on the board in the 58th minute, but his battered cross was touched away by the last defender. Davis came on the end of a shot but sent it high over the goal. Thomas intercepted another corner, which was won by Glass as the keeper continued to play an aggressive goalkeeping style. Alberto then tried from distance, but his shot met a similar fate, going over the goal.
On the defensive side, SKC II centre-back Esai Easley and center forward Curtez Kellman teamed up to hold off a Defiance attack. Easley slipped in to block the initial advance while Kellman jumped back to pick up the pieces. Easley followed shortly after and blocked a center pass with his head.
In the 73rd round, SKC II made their final two substitutions, bringing in newly signed Sporting KC Academy player Nati Clarke and midfielder Cade Thomson for Fernandez and McLagan. After the last drinking break, fifteen minutes before the end, SKC II went on the attack. Bagayoko found good space in the penalty area and quickly deflected a header on goal. Thomas positioned himself well enough to save.
The match ended with the final score SKC II zero, Tacoma three. The Street Warriors of SKC II will be back next week with a matchup against North Texas SC on Sunday, July 31st. SKC II defeated North Texas 4-2 at Rock Chalk Park earlier this month thanks to Salifus’ four goals. The game is available to stream for free on MLSNEXTPro.com along with the club’s remaining MLS NEXT Pro games.
Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh; Cole McLagan (Nati Clarke, 74′), Kaveh Rad, Esai Easley, Coby Jones (Spencer Glass, 45′); Curtez Kellman, Jake Davis, Josh Coan; Collin Fernandez (Cade Thomson 74′), Rauf Salifu (Bakary Bagayoko 45′), Julian Vazquez (Kian Alberto 45′)
Subs not used: Ethan Bandre, TJ Fatah, Jahon Rad, and Joseph Addo Tetteh
Tacoma defiance: Andrew Thomas, Cody Baker, Stuart Hawkins, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Randy Mendoza, Joshua Atencio (Etienne Veillard 79′), Reed Baker-Whiting, Georgi Minoungou (Juan Alvarez 54′), Marlon Vargas (Joe Hafferty 61′), Travian Sousa ( Snyder Brunell (79′), Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez
Subs not used: Wallis Lapsley, Achille Robin, Hal Uderitz
TAC – Georgi Minoungou (Randy Mendoza) 3′
TAC – Marlon Vargas (Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez) 21′
TAC – Marlon Vargas (Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez) 53′
Summary of Misconduct:
TAC – Georgi Minoungou (unsportsmanlike conduct; yellow card) 39′*
TAC –* Travian Sousa (unsportsmanlike conduct; yellow card) 39′
SK C – Coby Jones (unsportsmanlike conduct; yellow card) 45+1′*
TAC –* Joshua Atencio (Restart delayed; Yellow card) 65′*
SK C –* Jake Davis (unsportsmanlike conduct; yellow card) 90+2′*
SK C –* Bakary Bagayoko (unsportsmanlike conduct; yellow card) 90+3′