HAT TRICK FROM JAHON RAD BOOSTS SPORTING KANSAS CITY U-16/17 PAST PATEADORES 4-2

By Andrew Eakes

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (June 19, 2018) - After a grueling first half finished in a draw between Sporting Kansas City and Pateadores, SKC midfielder Jahon Rad took the game into his own hands, scoring the game-winner in the 80th minute to cap off a hat trick.

Rough-and-tumble play opened Tuesday's second feature game as the two teams fought it out at the SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside, Calif. It was clear from the start that nobody was going to complete any free passes, or have any easy path to goal.

Just 13 minutes into the game, Rad was fouled in the penalty box, and his PK goal gave Sporting an early 1-0 advantage.

Pateadores responded ten minutes later. Forward Pablo Figeuroa was driving down the line when he found forward Nathan Franco on a cross. Franco kicked in a powerful goal to the near post to knot up the game 1-1.

The goal sparked Pateadores forward, opening up more chances to pressure Sporting. The Los Angeles-area club found another key chance in the 27th minute, as forward Melvin Leon dashed down the right side of the field. As he beat a defender and crossed to the middle of the field, he found Franco leaping towards the net, but KC goalkeeper Max Trejo halted the attempt.

Sporting was not done just yet. In the 43rd, defender Brandt Betts took sent a ballfrom 20 yards out that soared over anyone that tried to get in the way. Rad found the ball as it came down and headed in his second goal of the game to make it 2-1.

The scoring continued as the first half came to a close. On another dangerous run down the right side of the field, Leon squirted a pass out as a Sporting defender closed down on him. Kansas City handled the attempted cross in the middle of the field, but weren't able to control the ball. Pats forward Alex Gonzales pounced on it and put in the back of the net, equalizing for the SoCal-based side 2-2 just before the half.

The scoring frenzy slowed down in the second half. In the 55th, Pats goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes made a leaping, one-handed denial after SKC defender Mitchell Ferguson angled a header downward to the left side of the goal.

Finally, in the 80th minute, Sporting Kansas City got the ball down the field and earned a threatening free kick. Forward Ryan Fessler sent it over everyone. The ball skipped against the ground to find Rad roughly five yards out from goal. He knocked in a header to complete the hat trick, giving SKC a 3-2 lead.

The referees added five minutes of extra time, allowing Pateadores the chance to make a comeback. As the SoCal club pressed for an equalizer, Sporting jumped on its opponent's over-aggression. Kansas City forward Cameron Duke picked up the ball with an open field and scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to cap off the 4-2 win.

Both teams return to action on Thursday. Pateadores take on Concorde Fire and Sporting Kansas City will face Seattle Sounders, both at 4:00 p.m.