KANSAS CITY, KS – Saint Louis FC drew 1-1 away to Swope Park Rangers in front of 900 fans at Children’s Mercy Park in Match 7 of the USL regular season.
Swope Park opened the scoring early through Hadji Barry who was the quickest to react to a bouncing ball as he chipped STLFC goalkeeper Jake Fenlason for his second goal of the season. Saint Louis FC would battle back to equalize in the 88th minute through Kyle Greig for his team-leading third goal of the season which sees the team improve to 3-1-3 on the season with 12 points in the USL Western Conference.
The first half started with the home side taking the lead as Barry latched onto a bouncing ball that tricked the STLFC defense and he lifted his shot over Fenlason in the 3rd minute. Saint Louis FC looked to respond through Kadeem Dacres as he created space on the right side but had two efforts saved by Swope Park goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod. The best chance to equalize in the first half came in the 36th minute following a corner routine which saw Sean Reynolds head back across goal to find Sam Fink but his header was caught by MacLeod.
The second half saw Saint Louis FC control possession and create a number of opportunities from set piece situations as Kyle Culbertson found the head of Christian Volesky at the back post in the 51st and 62nd minutes but both efforts were saved by MacLeod. STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis looked to change the game with his substitutes and nearly had an immediate impact from Albert Dikwa as he was found on the penalty spot by Dacres but had his shot saved by MacLeod in the 81st minute. Dikwa would turn provider in the 88th minute as his cross from the right side skipped across the penalty area and was poked in by a sliding Greig for the equalizer. Swope Park then almost stole the win with a late effort in stoppage time that was chested off the line by Sam Fink to preserve the draw and see both sides earn a point.
“I’m really proud of the guys tonight for the character they showed to keep fighting until the end,” said Pulis. “I’m actually a little disappointed we didn’t get all three points as I thought we created numerous, really good chances to win the game. We’ll go through our process like we always do, analyze, reflect, learn and then move on to prepare for Portland Timbers 2 next week.”
Saint Louis FC vs. Portland Timbers 2 – Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Stadium
Swope Park Rangers at Oklahoma City Energy FC – Saturday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. CT at Taft Stadium