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Swope Park Too Much for S2

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 07/21/17, 12:35AM EDT


Second-half goals by Moloto, Selbol earn seventh consecutive victory

Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Seattle Sounders FC 2

TUKWILA, Wash. – The Swope Park Rangers claimed their seventh consecutive victory with a 2-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Thursday night at Starfire Stadium. The win completed a three-game sweep of SPR’s trip to the Pacific Northwest, and also saw the side notch a fifth consecutive shutout. SPR’s Christian Duke almost opened the scoring in the sixth minute when his shot came back off the left post, and also flashed a shot wide of the left post from distance seven minutes later. The Rangers held the upper hand throughout the first half, and two minutes after the break notched the opening goal as Lebo Moloto got onto a headed ball by Oumar Ballo and fired home well for the lead. Seattle’s first big chance of the game arrived in the 62nd minute as Victor Mansaray played in Azriel Gonzalez, but SPR goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas made a good save to keep the visitors ahead. Mark Anthony Gonzalez almost added a second in the 81st minute as the Canadian got onto a pass by Colton Storm and lifted his first-time finish past Seattle goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, only for the shot to come off the right post and be cleared to safety. Two minutes later the Rangers found their insurance goal, however, as Nansel Selbol put home a beautiful curling finish off Gonzalez’s pass into the right corner of the net, and that proved enough to see the visitors to all three points.

47’ – SPR – Lebo Moloto (Oumar Ballo)
83’ – SPR – Nansel Selbol (Mark Anthony Gonzalez)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. The Swope Park Rangers took their seventh consecutive victory utilizing the same type of efficiency that earned the side victory in its previous two games in the Pacific Northwest. Holding possession well throughout the game, the Rangers dictated the rhythm of the game, and if not for a pair of unkind deflections off the woodwork could have won by a wide margin. As it is, Swope Park moved into second place in the Western Conference, and returns home looking in as positive form as any side in the USL.

  • 2. Christian Duke’s name didn’t end up on the scoresheet, but the Swope Park Rangers’ captain put in a fine performance in the center of midfield to help his side earn victory. The first signing when the club was established, the local standout produced another strong two-way performance that was almost rewarded by a goal as Duke was the first to hit the post for the Rangers on the night. While a goal wasn’t forthcoming, Duke won and distributed possession well to keep Swope Park in the ascendency, and continued to provide the leadership the side’s younger members can rely on.

  • 3. Seattle’s recent downturn in form continued, and will put pressure on the side in the next few games to hold onto a playoff position as the race for the postseason increases. One of the positives the side may take from the contest was the play of Victor Mansaray, who after his return from a loan stint with FC Cincinnati put in a nice shift after being brought on as a substitute. Mansaray created the one good chance S2 had on the night to level the score, putting in 16-year-old Azriel Gonzalez, and in addition the former U.S. U20 international contested well against a tough opponent. Getting back into rhythm and into form down the final 13 games of the season could be key to whether S2 returns to the postseason or falls short. Man of the Match

Lebo Moloto, Swope Park Rangers – Moloto took a fine goal to open the scoring, and linked up play well leading the attacking line as SPR took its seventh consecutive victory.

Upcoming Games:
Seattle Sounders FC 2
at Sacramento Republic FC – July 23, 11 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park
Swope Park Rangers vs. Reno 1868 FC – July 30, 5 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field

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