Photo courtesy of Lori Scholl / Tulsa Roughnecks FC
TULSA, Okla. – The Swope Park Rangers continued their dominance against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Tuesday at ONEOK Field. Diego Rubio’s 27th-minute tally gave the Rangers an early boost and Mark Anthony Gonzalez subbed on and provided a second-half score en route to a 2-1 victory. The Rangers sweep the two-game season series and they improve to 6-0-0 all-time against Tulsa. Gonzalez has scored three goals against the Roughnecks this season, following up his brace during a 3-1 on June 11. With the victory, Swope Park improves to 7-4-2 (23 points) overall and earns its first road victory (1-3-1 on the road). Chicago Fire loanee Collin Fernandez gave the Roughnecks some life with his first professional goal in the 69th minute, but it wasn’t quite enough as Tulsa dropped to 5-8-0 (15 points) overall and 4-3-0 at home.
27’ – SPR – Diego Rubio
63’ – SPR – Mark Anthony Gonzalez (Cameron Iwasa)
69’ – TUL – Collin Fernandez (Joaquin Rivas)
#TULvSPR: Full match and Opta box score
Three Things That Mattered:
1. The Rangers’ attacking depth was on display as they went after the road victory to gain just enough to stay on top the whole way against the Roughnecks. Sporting Kansas City forward and Swope Park loanee Diego Rubio made his first start since returning from a torn ACL, which he suffered in October of 2016. The Santiago, Chile native scored his second career USL tally in the 27th minute, after a deflected throw-in popped up to him at the edge of the six-yard area, where he stuck his right foot out and slotted into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Then in the 63rd minute, a pair of Rangers second-half subs countered for a two-goal lead. Cameron Iwasa drew the Tulsa defense toward him on the left side of the box, left it off for Gonzalez and he found the right side of the frame.
2. The Roughnecks could have been put away earlier in the second half when Rangers captain Christian Duke had a one-on-one chance against Fabian Cerda in the 53rd minute. Tulsa’s Francisco Ugarte, who earlier picked up his eighth caution of the season and will miss his next game for yellow card accumulation, coughed up the ball and Duke tried to sneak the ball toward the near right post. Cerda had it covered with a clutch stop to keep the Roughnecks’ deficit at one, while Swope Park missed a massive opportunity to create a cushion.
3. With Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City gearing up for their Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup match against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, several members generally with the Rangers were unavailable Tuesday night. Earlier in the day, the club announced that forward Kharlton Belmar, midfielder Felipe Hernandez and defender Parker Maher were signed to short-term loans from the Rangers in preparation for the tournament. Belmar, the 2015 USL Rookie of the Year when he was with the Portland Timbers 2, leads Swope Park with four goals this season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Cameron Iwasa, Swope Park Rangers – It was an abbreviated performance as a second-half sub, but Iwasa provided some spark to set up the Rangers’ second tally, which proved vital to gain the full three points.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – July 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Swope Park Rangers at LA Galaxy II – June 30, 10:30 p.m. ET, StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium