Week 13

MLS NEXT Pro Game of the Week: St Louis CITY2 aims to continue its hot streak on the road against Sporting KC II

Week 13 of the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season kicks off with the Game of the Week that features Western Conference foes St Louis CITY2 and Sporting KC II facing off at Rock Chalk Park on Friday.

CITY2 will look to extend its three-game undefeated streak, while Sporting KC II looks to earn its second home victory of the campaign.

How to Watch:

This and every match will be available to stream live and free of charge on MLSNEXTPro.com. 

MLS NEXT Pro has teamed up with automated camera technology provider Spiideo to deliver live streams of all MLS NEXT Pro matches, ensuring every game this season will be available for viewing on MLSNEXTPro.com.

The matchup is this week's MLS NEXT Pro Game of the Week, and viewers will experience a multi-camera production for this match.

After a rocky start to its inaugural MLS NEXT Pro campaign, Sporting KC II (5-5-2, 17 points) has picked up points in five of its last six matches, including a three-game winning streak in mid-May.

The most impressive victory in that stretch took place on the road last weekend against Houston Dynamo 2. Benny Feilhaber’s side avenged an early-season loss to hand Dynamo 2 its first home loss of the season with a 1-0 victory at Aveva Stadium.

Sporting KC II has struggled to earn points at Rock Chalk Park this season, only managing to earn four points in six games at home. 

If SKCII can defend its home turf, the boys in blue will be able to close the gap in the standings and join the Western Conference elite.

Players to watch:

Collin Fernandez, midfielder - The 25-year-old from Downers Grove, Illinois, has started 11 of the 12 games he’s played in this season, scoring one goal and contributing three assists. With 1024 minutes played, Fernandez is currently ranked second in minutes in MLS NEXT Pro.

Rauf Salifu, forward - The 20-year-old from Ghana has scored in consecutive games for SKCII, including the crucial penalty kick that gave Sporting KC II victory last weekend over Houston Dynamo 2. 

Mataeo Bunbury, forward - The leading scorer for SKCII with four goals, Bunbury has started six of the ten games he’s played this season. In April, the 17-year-old SKCII Academy product was called up to Canada’s U-20 Men's National Team.

St. Louis CITY2 (7-2-2, 24 points) will take a five-match unbeaten streak to Rock Chalk Park on Friday. 

CITY2 had an impressive outing last weekend, putting up five goals against Chicago Fire II on the road. Josh Dolling led the way offensively, scoring his sixth goal of the season, while Karson Gibbs provided two assists.

Only CITY2 and North Texas SC have maintained undefeated records on the road this season.

The Western Conference continues to be immensely competitive, but St Louis CITY2 has cracked into the MLS NEXT Pro Top 5 Rankings this week, taking fourth place. With a victory at Sporting KC II, they’ll be looking to continue the ascent up the rankings.

Players to watch:

Josh Dolling, forward - The 24-year-old is among the league leaders in scoring, bagging six goals in 10 games. The Englishman has also contributed three assists, including one last week.

Ian McGrane, goalkeeper - The seasoned goalkeeper has started four of the last five games for CITY2, keeping two consecutive clean sheets in the process.

Kyle Hiebert, defender - The Canadian center-back was given the captain armband last week for the first time this season and helped CITY 2 earn its fifth clean sheet of the season.