It’s almost as cruel as four consecutive years of Knockout Round eliminations in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Sporting Kansas City’s USL side Swope Park Rangers also suffered postseason heartache on Monday, falling in the USL Cup final for the second year in a row after a 1-0 loss to Louisville City FC. The winning goal for the home side came with two minutes left in regulation time on a header by second-half substitute Cameron Lancaster.
Louisville’s Speedy Williams delivered the cross from the right side and Lancaster rose high to meet it, using his forehead to redirect a floater that arced over helpless Swope Park Rangers and Sporting KC Homegrown goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas.
Both teams hit the back of the net in the first, but both goals were called back for offside. In the second half Swope Park Rangers began to boss the game with Louisville picking their moments to attack.
Louisville forward Luke Spencer was within inches of the goal line at the hour mark when he nearly connected on a cross by former Houston Dynamo draft pick Brian Ownby.
Spencer would come out of the match in the 67th minute, making way for Lancaster, who would provide the late heroics as Louisville City held on to win their first USL Cup in front of 14.456 fans at Louisville Slugger Field.
The new champions, only in their third season of existence, received approval from the city of Louisville a little over a week ago to construct a soccer stadium which is set to open in 2020.
Swope Park Rangers made it all the way to the championship match in 2016, only to lose 5-1 on the road vs. New York Red Bulls II.
LOU - 88' Cameron Lancaster (Devon Williams )
Swope Park Rangers: Adrian Zendejas; Parker Maher, Dakota Barnathan (Max Rugova 91'), Amer Didic, Colton Storm; James Musa, Christian Duke © (Felipe Hernandez 71'), Kevin Oliveira; Kharlton Belmar, Lebo Moloto, Nansel Selbol
Substitutes Not Used: David Greczek, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, Robert Mirosavic, Oumar Ballo, Liam Doyle
Louisville City FC: Greg Ranjitsingh; Sean Totsch, Paco Craig, Tarek Morad; Kyle Smith, Oscar Jimenez, Devon Williams, Paolo DelPiccolo ©, George Davis IV, Brian Ownby (Mark-Anthony Kaye 73'); Luke Spencer (Cameron Lancaster 67')
Substitutes Not Used: Ilija Ilic, Richard Ballard, Tim Dobrowolski, Niall McCabe, Guy Abend