Indomitable City Soccer: Swope Park Rangers is going to be a bit new to us out here in Sacramento. Can you give us a quick primer on the team and their interesting name?
Blue Testament: Sporting Kansas City likes to do things their own way. When it came time to add the USL team to the club SKC II or B would not work. The team plays most of their games at the Championship field at Swope Soccer Village where Sporting KC has their training center. A number of years ago when MLS had the Reserve League, fans started calling the reserve team the Swope Park Rangers. It only seemed logical to resurrect the old name that already had fan history and support. When they built the actual team, they went out and got Marc Dos Santos, the NASL coach of the year; Dane Kelly, all-time leading USL scorer, and a number of players they think could develop into MLS players. They have a couple players on loan from SKC and have used several Academy players already this season. The team will tend to play a similar 4-3-3 formation to Sporting KC.
ICS: SPR enters Saturday's game having lost 4 of their last 5 games. What has gone wrong for them and how can they turn it around?
BT: Most of SPR's players are young and signed for potential. They are almost always going against older and more mature teams that want wins where the Rangers want to give guys time and experience. They do want to win and set that expectation with the team but ultimately they want development. Even when matched up against other MLS second teams they average a much younger team.They started well in preseason and knocked off MLS teams in the Desert Diamond Cup but the small roster, youth and a couple injuries have limited their options.As they gain experience and Dos Santos continues to work with them, they will get on the winning side more often.
ICS: Who are some SPR players that Republic fans should keep an eye on during Saturday's game?
BT: Kevin Oliveira - a 19 year old central midfielder that was signed from Benfica's B team, can play both attacking mid and in the box-to-box role. Daniel Salloi - the 19 year old striker is on loan from Sporting KC and is the rare combination of a player signed as a homegrown player that takes up an international slot. He is Hungarian and was in Kansas City as an exchange student and played with SKC's Academy while he was here.Tyler Pasher - midfielder that has started to blossom as a winger, quick and wants to get forward has been one of the bright spots.
Predicted lineup: Kempin; Mulligan, Meyer, Didic, Duke; Oliveira, Ualefi, Granitto; Tyrpak, Salloi, Pasher
Predicted Score: SPR is not lighting up the scoreboard and you guys have been pretty stingy so how about 1-1?