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North Texas Bounce Back Against Sporting KC II

An all around improved performance from the team in their 2-0 win of SKCII.

Last night, North Texas SC redeemed themselves after losing 3-2 against Houston Dynamo 2 last week.

A 2-0 victory away against a Sporting Kansas City II side that hasn’t won a game since April 3rd. That being said, the game was still an exciting one that featured a penalty save, a red card, and Felipe Carneiro’s first clean sheet for North Texas.

How it went

The game started with North Texas on their back foot before giving up a penalty in the seventh minute.

Lucas Bartlett, who otherwise looked solid on the night, caught Tijani Fatah’s foot as the winger tried cutting to his left side.

Felipe earned his second start of the season with Antonio Carrera away with the U.S. Youth National Team. He guessed correctly and made a full-extension stop against Collin Fernandez, who’s now 0/2 on penalties this season.

From there, momentum swung North Texas’s way and just nine minutes later, they had their first goal.

Another great pass between the lines from Hope Avayevu to Bernard Kamungo led to a nice goal. These two have been stellar all season. Hope now leads the league in assists with Bernard jumping the third in the golden boot race.

From there the ball bounced back and forth with North Texas relying on their high pressing style to catch a mistake downfield.

In the 44th minute, an interception by Derek Waldeck was met with a two footed tackle from Jacob Davis leading to a straight red card. SKCII teammate Felipe Hernández was then subsequently carded for arguing the call.

At this point in the game, unrest began to build in the stadium. SKCII fans began to verbally berate referee Nabil Bensalah, as well as some of their own players. Over the livestream, multiple fans could be heard complaining, which earning a remark from the game’s commentator, apologizing for their tone.

From the beginning of the second half, North Texas sat back and contained SKCII, allowing for frustration to set in.

They would ultimately put the nail in the coffin after Luis Miguel and Pablo Torre came on to combine for a second goal in the 76th minute.

As SKCII looked to be at their wits end, NTX continued to press high up the field. They’d end up leaving a few more scoring opportunities on the table, including an offside goal from Luis Miguel.

The game ultimately ended as a satisfying win that’ll bring some confidence back to one of the leagues best teams.

Some Thoughts

Felipe looks like an excellent back up for Carrera. After a few incredible saves, and an excellent game with his feet, he’ll likely serve as the starter again anytime Carrera is called back into the U.S. National team.

The defense still looks shaky at times, especially for Isaiah Parker, who’s still adjusting to his new defensive responsibilities. Bartlett was often left to make up for his mistakes in this one.

The midfield still looks solid as Derek Waldeck and Santiago Ferreira remain consistent features. The third midfield spot remains up for grabs as André Costa and Blaine Ferri battle for time.

Up top, José Mulato has down well to exhaust opposing back lines as Hope and Bernard remain the stars of the show. Super-subs, Pablo Torre and Luis Miguel, have looked solid in limited time as well, which is good considering we may see a couple members of the attack leave for FC Dallas at some point.

The result also returned North Texas to second place on the league’s power ranking and the league table as they catch up with a Houston Dynamo 2 side that lost 4-1 away to the Tacoma Defiance. The team North Texas will get to play back at Choctaw Stadium next Sunday.

Other Notes

SKCII experimented with a tighter camera angle in this one leading to a much better viewing experience.

They haven’t released their official decision, but it seems they may have ditched the automated camera system for a cameraman of their own. The quality and consistency of the livestreams has been a league-wide issue with a string of complaints in Choctaw Stadium as well.

Although the team has persisted they have no say in the matter, clearly SKCII found a better solution, so why can’t we?