Photo courtesy of Swope Park Rangers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Swope Park Rangers finished off their first regular season with their fourth consecutive victory, earning a 2-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Victory Field. The win was an important one to solidify a top-four finish in the Western Conference standings for the right to host a conference quarterfinal match in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. Amer Didic tallied a first-half goal and Tyler Pasher added one in the second half for Swope, which improved to 14-10-6 (48 points) overall and 10-4-1 at home. Seattle, which had reached the postseason in its first USL season in 2015, missed out on the USL Playoffs this year, dropping to 9-13-8 (35 points) overall and 2-8-5 on the road. The Rangers certainly head into the playoffs with some momentum, having won six of their past seven games. In the only other previous meeting, the Rangers earned a 2-0 victory at Seattle on June 26.
11’ – SPR – Amer Didic (Ayrton)
75’ – SPR – Tyler Pasher (Dane Kelly)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Brazilian Ayrton has solidified himself as one Swope’s most creative presence, with in the run of play or in set pieces. During the club’s 11rth-minute corner kick sequence, Ayrton once again delivered. His left-footed corner kick from the right side was whipped in toward the edge of the six-yard area and Amer Didic muscled off the Seattle defense and rose for the header at the near right post and redirected into the net for his first goal of the season and an early 1-0 lead. For Didic, it was his first goal of the season. Ayrton leads Swope with seven assists, and he has assisted in three consecutive games to cap off the regular-season portion of the schedule.
2. Seattle’s defense thought it had disrupted Swope’s 75th-minute attack, but Rangers striker Dane Kelly simply outworked the S2 back line to recover the ball on the right side of the 18-yard box. He turned back toward the goal, crossed in for Tyler Pasher and he slotted it home inside the near right post to push Swope’s lead to 2-0. Kelly earned his second assist of the season and Pasher notched his fifth goal of the season.
3. In between the goals, Seattle’s Nouhou Tolo was sent off in the 41st minute as S2 would have to play the remainder of the match down a man. The Cameroonian defender was shown red after he brought down Swope’s Kris Tyrpak as the last defender.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Amir Didic, Swope Park Rangers – Didic notched his first professional goal and helped the back line post another shutout as Swope now looks toward the postseason.
Swope Park Rangers: Western Conference Quarterfinals, vs. No. 5 LA Galaxy II - Friday, Sept. 30, 8:30 p.m. ET – Children's Mercy Victory Field
Seattle Sounders FC 2 – End of Season