Photo courtesy Nick Tre. Smith / Swope Park Rangers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kris Tyrpak scored twice in the first half as the Swope Park Rangers claimed the 2016 USL Western Conference Championship with a 3-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Victory Field. Vancouver had most of the possession early, but it was the Rangers who took the lead in the eighth minute. A low cross by Christian Duke from the left was turned on goal by Mark Anthony Gonzalez at the near post and saved by WFC2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey, but Tyrpak gathered the rebound and fired into the right corner of the net. SPR’s Dane Kelly had a pair of chances in the opening half-hour, only to send both efforts just wide, but the hosts doubled their lead on Tyrpak’s second of the night as he put in a low cross through the six-yard area from the left by Tyler Pasher. Vancouver’s Kianz Froese went close to halving his side’s deficit as he forced a diving stop from SPR goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas with 20 minutes to go, but the Rangers closed out the victory with a minute to go as Kelly’s second goal in as many games sealed the Western Conference Championship.
Three Things That Matter:
1. Vancouver got off to exactly the start it would have wanted, putting his pressure on a Swope Park side that looked slightly tentative early on, which allowed the visitors to hold possession in the Rangers’ defensive third. As good as WFC2 looked, however, it wasn’t able to make its territory and possession pay off, as the side rarely found a clear look at goal. While the Rangers’ defending wasn’t always pretty early on, it got the job done, as an attack that had notched five goals in its opening two contests of the postseason came up short.
2. When Swope Park got forward in-between Vancouver’s early spells of pressure, they did so down the left side, which opened up the opportunity for Kris Trypak to take advantage of the excellent wide play the Rangers produced as the back-post option. Coming in off his wing, Tyrpak was able to elude his defenders on both goals with good positioning that allowed him to first take advantage of a rebound chance, and then steal in to roof a fine finish that gave him his third goal of the postseason.
3. The Rangers are now on a seven-game winning streak as they enter the 2016 USL Cup Final, Presented by Nike, against either the New York Red Bulls II or Louisville City FC next Sunday night. With a makeshift backline that saw both Tyler Pasher and Jonathan Grant put in excellent shifts alongside the reliable trio of goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas and center backs Amer Didic and Oumar Ballo, Swope Park will want to make a better start next weekend, but will be full of confidence that they can compete with either of the Eastern powerhouses after claiming the club’s first silverware.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Kris Trypak, Swope Park Rangers – Tyrpak scored the decisive goals as the Rangers’ outstanding run of form continued, earning the club the Western Conference Championship in its inaugural season.
Swope Park Rangers – USL Cup Final vs. New York Red Bulls II or Louisville City FC, Sunday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – End of Season
8’ – SPR – Kris Tyrpak (Mark Anthony Gonzalez)
32’ – SPR – Kris Tyrpak (Tyler Pasher)
89’ – SPR – Dane Kelly (Tyler Pasher)
SPR: 95-Adrian Zendejas; 77-Tyler Pasher, 81-Oumar Ballo, 55-Amer Didic, 90-Johnny Grant; 32-Christian Duke, 23-Emmanuel Appiah (92-Alex Molano, 85’), 47-Mark Anthony Gonzalez (31-Nansel Selbol, 19’); 45-Ayrton (46-Tomas Granitto 72’), 99-Dane Kelly (49-Will Little, 90’), 50-Kris Tyrpak (38-Akeil Barrett, 70’)
VAN: 39-Spencer Richey; 63-Kadin Chung (48-Christopher Diaz, 69’), 51-Sem de Wit, 14-Cole Seiler, 62-Deklan Wynne; 65-Matthew Baldisimo (57-Thomas Sanner, 79’), 38-Kianz Froese (45-Giuliano Frano, 75’); 56-Daniel Haber (49-Fatawu Safiu, 54’), 32-Marco Bustos, 46-Brett Levis; 47-Kyle Greig
Venue: Children’s Mercy Victory Field