USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Sunday, February 28, 2016
The Swope Park Rangers took a 1-0 win against FC Tucson on Saturday night to complete an undefeated stay at the Desert Diamond Cup, as Dane Kelly scored his first goal for the Rangers.
The win put Swope Park at the top of the standings at the end of the two-week tournament, tied on eight points with the New England Revolution. For Rangers Coach Marc Dos Santos, Saturday’s game shouldn’t have been as close as the final score indicated, but overall he was pleased with the work his side had put in over its two-week stay in Arizona.
“We should have finished the game way before, and every time the game stays 1-0 you give a chance to the opponent,” said Dos Santos, “but I think overall for a team that’s been one week together before coming here to Tucson and to not lose, compete with MLS teams, I think it’s a very positive trip, and the guys can go home for a three- or four-day rest with their heads up.”
- RELATED: Kelly’s Goal Lifts Rangers Past Tucson
Former Austin Aztex forward Kris Tyrpak could have added to his total on Saturday for the Rangers, only for his chances to go awry. Following the game, though, the young striker was pleased with the way the side was coming together over the first three weeks of training camp.
“The energy is very high, the team is coming together,” Tyrpak said. “We’ve been here for almost three weeks now, and the results have shown how well we’ve come together. We didn’t lose a game here, against MLS opposition, against other USL teams, PDL teams, we’ve got a solid record so far.”
With Kelly, Tyrpak and a number of other attacking options, the Rangers look on paper to be a serious threat to opposing defenses this season in the USL. As the group begins to develop chemistry in the attacking third, Tyrpak is looking forward to being a provider as well as a finisher this season.
“I’m a very unselfish player, so if there’s someone who’s more open I’ll definitely give it to them, and hopefully in the same situation they’ll give it to me,” Tyrpak said. “Hopefully this year we have a few people in the double-digit category of goals.”
As the club moves toward its opening game of the USL season against the Portland Timbers 2, Dos Santos will continue to keep pushing the side forward as it looks to take on the traits Sporting Kansas City has shown in its recent history.“There’s a responsibility, there’s a culture within the club, a culture of winning, a culture of fighting in every game that Sporting KC brought,” Dos Santos said. “As Swope Park Rangers, we have to make sure that we show that same type of mentality, so we’re trying to get players that can have that type of dynamic, and I think we have a lot of them, and still one to come that’s going to help a lot. I think we’re in the right direction, but I’m not a delusional guy, and I think we still have a lot of work to do.”