In the minutes after the Swope Park Rangers won their inaugural playoff game, coach Marc Dos Santos rattled off a list of the team’s first-time accomplishments. Afterward, he quipped that the team would need to find a way to achieve another first — winning on the road in the postseason.
As it turns out, though, the Rangers don’t have to leave home.
After back-to-back home victories, the Rangers will return to Swope Soccer Village once more — this time with a trip to the United Soccer League championship match on the line.
The fourth-seeded Rangers will play host to the sixth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 in the Western Conference championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Swope Soccer Village.
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Three of the four teams left in the postseason are development teams for MLS parent clubs, including the Rangers, who are owned by Sporting Kansas City.
On Sunday, the New York Red Bulls II play host to Louisville City in the Eastern Conference final. The criteria for hosting the USL Cup on Oct. 23 has not been announced by the league.
Swope Park has won six straight games dating back to the regular season. It defeated Orange County FC 2-1 in overtime of the Western Conference semifinals — despite finishing the game with only nine men after ejections to Tommy Meyer and Ever Alvarado. Dane Kelly had the game-winning goal for the Rangers in the 105th minute, which came after both ejections.
On Saturday, the Rangers will be without Meyer and Alvarado, who were suspended for their actions in the Western Conference semifinal. Meyer was suspended for six games for stepping on an opposing player and subsequently bumping an assistant referee after his ejection. Alvarado will serve a mandatory one-game suspension for his red card.