By Kansas City Sol
The Kansas City Sol tallied two wins out of two in their June homestand. A goal soaked 5-4 win over Bartlesville, Oklahoma side Reign FK saw the Sol jump into second place in the NPSL’s Heartland Conference.
A hot and humid midwest summer night started with both sides settling in and the Sol controlling possession. Multiple counter attacks saw the Reign fly forward but with no avail. A few Sol chances and excellent wing play led to the opening goal in the 21st minute scored by Tony Rangel.
Rangel would go on to net a brace before being sent off with a late red card.
“Those two goals felt awesome for me, for my family back home, for the fans out there,” Rangel said. “That red card was just something I had to do, it’s a risk I had to take for the benefit of the team.”
Reign FK would be punished on a ball picked up by Sol midfielder Roman Knox. Returning to the side after a week off, Knox played a textbook through ball to Rangel for his second goal. The second goal in the 29th minute rallied the Reign, and they used the rest of the half to figure out a breakthrough.
The deficit was halved in the 37th minute by Brandon O’Rouke after quick passing and a finish after a broken pass. Multiple saves by Sol goalkeeper Tommy Williams kept the Sol up 2-1 heading into the half.
The Sol made rotational changes at halftime, subbing out midfielder Van Deventer for debutant forward Romario Harding and throwing on fresh goalkeeper Cole Stewart. The beginning of the second half was similar to the start of the game. Multiple back-and-forth moves eventually led to a free kick for the Sol and up stepped Knox who buried it into the bottom right corner.
The 3-1 lead for the Sol was short-lived after concerted effort from the Reign led to a goal. At 3-2 both teams knew the next goal was crucial. In the 63rd minute, Sean Brooks scored for the second week in a row for the Sol on a fortunate but deserved bounce through the keeper’s hands.
Brooks shared his thoughts on his performance and the team’s direction.
“It felt great scoring and contributing to the team because it was such a close game but we were really trying to focus on keeping the ball and tiring them out because it was such a hot game,” Brooks said.
Brooks’ goal seemed to ice the game at 4-2 with about 30 minutes left to play but the Reign had other ideas. The 68th minute saw a quick goal off a counter to make it a one-goal game. Following the trend of goals being answered, Harding grabbed his goal after an excellent half-turn and strike.
A late penalty conversion for the Reign and red cards handed out by both teams led to a thrilling 5-4 score.
The KC Sol have a tough few weeks on the road before finishing the season at home on Saturday, July 8th against OKC 1889 FC.
KC Sol head coach Huw Williams shared his thoughts on the match and what the team is looking forward to.
“Happy with a win, good to get three points, I think that pushes us closer to a playoff spot but disappointed that we gave up four goals,” Williams said. “We have to get tighter in the back.”
Photo Credit: Thad Bell