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Sporting KC II Faces St. Louis CITY2 Sunday in First Match at CITYPARK

May 19, 2023 – MLS NEXT Pro (MLS NEXT Pro) – Sporting Kansas City II press release

Sporting Kansas City II (4-3-1, 14 points) will continue its rivalry with St. Louis CITY2 (1-4-3, 8 points) on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. CT in the two’s first meeting of 2023 and the renew their first duel at the brand new CITYPARK in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The game is available to stream via the MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app and fans can follow @SportingKCII on Twitter for live updates throughout the competition.


A year ago, the two sides met three times. Sporting KC II defeated CITY2 on penalties on MLS NEXT Pro Decision Day after suffering back-to-back losses to St. Louis at Rock Chalk Park earlier in the year. Sunday’s game comes a day after the first-team clash between Sporting Kansas City and St. Louis CITY, who open their rivalry Saturday at 8:30 p.m. CT. This game can be found in FS1 or MLS Season Pass.

SKC II, who have just clinched 2-1 straight wins, are trying to keep up the momentum against a struggling CITY2 side who have only managed one win this season. Sunday’s hosts drew away at LAFC2 and lost 4-1 at North Texas SC in May.

Sophomore head coach Benny Feilhaber has relied on the guidance of more experienced players while also counting on the performance of many newcomers. Team captain Josh Coan, who started five of seven appearances, has one goal and two assists in 2023. The midfielder has shown himself to be a leader in the dressing room, wearing the captain’s armband in all five starts.

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Coan is joined by Sporting KC Academy product Jahon Rad as a leader on the pitch. The 21-year-old central defender has the third most minutes played in the team (536), the most accurate passes (399) and the highest accuracy (95.7 percent). Co-defender and current SKC Academy player Nati Clarke has been a mainstay at left-back this year. He has started four of the last five SKC II games, playing the full 90 minutes in each of those competitions.

Three former Sporting KC Academy products remain essentials for SKC II in 2023: defender Mo Abualnadi, forward Sebastian Cruz and midfielder Enzo Mauriz all returned to Kansas City after successful college careers. With a total of 18 games and 1252 minutes of play, the trio was of outstanding importance for the SKC II this season. Cruz has contributed one goal and two assists, Abualnadi has 273 completed passes, third on the team, while Mauriz is second with a passing accuracy rate of 93.2 percent.

Of the newcomers, striker Pau Vidal has filled the stats list more than any other. He leads SKC II with his six goals in six starts and is second in the MLS NEXT Pro. Helping him in the front three rows was winger Andrew Draper, who has three assists, the most on the team. Alenis Vargas, who joined the club in early April, has two assists to his credit in just 106 minutes played. Vargas and Vidal scored in added time against LA Galaxy II last Sunday to put SKC II past LA.

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Last year, St. Louis CITY2 made it to the MLS NEXT Pro Cup Finals, where they lost to Columbus Crew 2 at Lower.com Field. They started their second season as a club at a much slower pace, clinching just one win in their first eight games. That win came on April 30 at CITYPARK against Whitecaps FC 2 thanks to a Sergio Rivas winner in the 84th minute.

They are led by head coach Bobby Murphy, who served as assistant coach for Union Omaha in USL League One. This is his first year as a head coach and his first season at St. Louis CITY. On the pitch, CITY2 has turned to striker John Klein and his four goals. Four other players have a goal for St. Louis. Former Sporting KC midfielder Wan Kuzain has been a member of STL CITY2 for two seasons and has seven stars in 2023.

After the rivalry between Sporting KC and St. Louis CITY makes its Major League Soccer debut, SKC II and STL CITY2 meet for the fourth time the following day. Fans can follow all the action on Apple TV with the MLS Season Pass or follow @SportingKCII on Twitter for game updates.

After emerging victorious against LA Galaxy II in injury time, our attention now turns to @STLCITY2.

Tune in to #MLSSeasonPass Sunday at 5:00 PM CT as we take on our neighbors to the east at CITYPARK!

Game Information:

MLS NEXT Pro: Game 9

Date: Sunday 21 May 2023

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Kick-off: 5:00 p.m. CT

Location: CITYPARK (St Louis, Missouri)

Watch: MLSNEXTPro.com

SOCIAL TAGS:

Game specific hashtag: #STLvSKC

Twitter: @SportingKCII

Instagram: @SportingKCII

Twitter: @STLCITY2

Instagram: @stlcity2

• Discuss this story on the MLS NEXT Pro Forum…

The opinions expressed in this press release are those of the organization that issued it and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its employees.

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