Swope Park Rangers Crushed by St Louis FC

The Swope Park Rangers traveled to face St Louis FC with dismal results.

The Swope Park Rangers took on St. Louis FC Saturday night. This was the beginning of what many thought could be a possible rivalry between the two teams. Swope Park Rangers didn’t fare nearly as well as many would’ve hoped, falling 3-0 to St. Louis.

What didn’t help this struggling side much, was that they were forced to play a man down for 35 minutes. Just like Sporting KC, SPR have had a real bad bit of form lately, and I’m not sure some changes in the back line were really what this team needed.

Lineup Changes

Feb 17, 2016; Tucson, AZ, USA; Swope Park Rangers forward Kris Tyrpak (50) moves the ball past Colorado Rapids defender Marc Burch (4) during the first half at Kino North Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers were without a true striker in this game. Dane Kelly and Mark Anthony Gonzalez were both out with injury, and Daniel Salloi was apparently in Hungary finishing up some school work. Kris Tyrpak filled in as the striker in this game, allowing Johnny Grant to get the start on the right wing. This was an interesting move from Marc Dos Santos seeing as he played Grant at right back during most of preseason. The other change in the starting lineup was that Oumar Ballo was given the start at center back over VanCompernolle.

First Half

It was pretty even the first ten minutes with neither team having a real good chance, but in the 11th minute Richard Dixon of St. Louis curled a ball in behind the back four of SPR. Kempin took about three steps off his line to come and get the cross but then elected not to. Jimmy Mulligan was left trying to head the ball away off the bounce, but Mulligan’s header went right to Schillo Tshuma. Tshuma blasted the ball into the back of the net giving St. Louis the early 1-0 lead.

SPR began pressing for a goal and came oh so close in the 21st minute, when Ballo’s header rattled the crossbar. The Rangers also had another opportunity in the 27th minute when SPR received a free kick on the corner of the 18. Kevin Oliveira curled in a magnificent effort, but the effort was just saved by Mark Pais.

Then in the 39th minute a very questionable free kick was given to St. Louis. The referee whistled for a foul on Mulligan who went to clear a ball, who was up ended by a sliding Drew Connor of St. Louis (it should also be noted that this was referee, Luigi Lazareno’s, first professional game). What ensued will fuel the controversy even more. Drew Bond stepped up for St. Louis and curled in a gorgeous ball over the wall to give his side the 2-0 lead.

To add insult to injury, right before halftime Oumar Ballo was shown a second yellow and red after being forced into a tackle on St. Louis’s Drew Connor. Connor was in on goal after a poor clearance from Tommy Meyer, and Ballo was forced to bring him down. Leaving the Rangers with not only a 2-0 deficit but also down a man at halftime.

Second Half

Feb 17, 2016; Tucson, AZ, USA; Swope Park Rangers goalkeeper Jon Kempin (1) makes a save against the Colorado Rapids during the first half at Kino North Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 17, 2016; Tucson, AZ, USA; Swope Park Rangers goalkeeper Jon Kempin (1) makes a save against the Colorado Rapids during the first half at Kino North Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

At halftime Coach Dos Santos was forced into a change, substituting Amer Didic for Jimmy Mulligan. This substitution also forced Johnny Grant into defense at right back. St. Louis started the second half as they finished the first, attacking SPR. The third goal came in just seven minutes into the second half for St. Louis. Irvin Herrera slid in behind a ball watching Didic and flicked in a clipped ball over a stranded Jon Kempin.

Rangers continued to press on, rattling the crossbar again in the 58th minute. Oliveira served in a great corner, headed on by Tomas Granitto, and tipped onto the cross bar by keeper Pais.

SPR continued to have threatening chances during the second half. Chances especially came after Chad Bond was shown his second yellow, reducing St. Louis also to 10 men. A big moment in the game had to be the debut of 16-year-old academy product, Jaylin Lindsey. Lindsey had just signed for the Rangers earlier this week after spending time in Tucson during preseason, and several weeks of training with the USL side.

Summary

Another game of struggles for the Rangers. This makes it three losses in a row and four games in a row without a win. I think the Rangers desperately are in need of striker Dane Kelly, and I’m not so sure about the decision to mix it up at center back by Coach Dos Santos. SPR will return home for their second meeting of the season with Tulsa Roughnecks. Also, keep an eye on ReportingKC.com as we’ll have an updated scouting report on the Roughnecks later this week.