Photo courtesy Nick Tre. Smith / Swope Park Rangers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Swope Park Rangers scored inside the opening minute and held the lead through a weather delay to take a 1-0 win against Saint Louis FC at Children’s Mercy Victory Field on Saturday night. The Rangers struck quickly as Mark Anthony Gonzalez found a lane into the right side of the penalty area, and his shot was parried by Saint Louis goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, only for Tyler Pasher to tap home the rebound. The game then went into a weather delay for almost two hours just before halftime, but the Rangers almost doubled the lead immediately following the resumption as Kris Tyrpak fired a shot over the crossbar from 15 yards. Saint Louis got further into the game in the second half, and were able to build some pressure on the Rangers’ goal, but its last-gasp finish by Irvin Herrera was saved by SPR goalkeeper Jon Kempin to preserve his shutout, and the win.
1’ – SPR – Tyler Pasher (Mark Anthony Gonzalez)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Swope Park’s ability to strike at speed was in evidence inside the opening minute, as the Rangers scored quickly through Tyler Pasher to get on top of their Missouri rivals. That same jump has been evident in the side at the start of both halves at home for the Rangers – Pasher scored 90 seconds into the second half against Tulsa on May 14 – and almost pulled off the feat again coming out of the rain delay as Kris Tyrpak almost scored his second goal in as many games.
2. In the race to claim a place in the Western Conference Playoffs at the end of the season, Saint Louis FC has had a problem with stringing consistent results together. While the side is still comfortably in the top eight positions, STLFC is now 2-3-0 over its last five games, alternating losses and wins since June 4. With Seattle Sounders FC 2 coming to World Wide Technology Soccer Park on Wednesday night for the USL Game of the Week, STL will be looking to rebound yet again.
3. In the same vein, the Rangers have been trying to find consistency in their results to try and get back into the top eight in the West. With back-to-back victories over the past week, however, the Rangers are keeping themselves in contention as they moved a point back of OKC Energy FC at the halfway point of their season. A visit to Arizona next weekend will be the next big test for Coach Marc Dos Santos’ side.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Tyler Pasher, Swope Park Rangers – Pasher’s early strike proved the difference as the Rangers evened the season series against their Missouri rivals, and closed the game between themselves and the top eight in the Western Conference.
Swope Park Rangers at Arizona United SC – July 9, 10:30 p.m. ET, Peoria Sports Complex
Saint Louis FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2 – July 6, 8 p.m. ET, World Wide Technology Soccer Park