A brief history of pro soccer in Oklahoma

By Rhiannon Walker, Staff Writer, rwalker@opubco.com Published: July 2, 2013
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photo - United Soccer Leagues President Tim Holt discusses Oklahoma City's new professional soccer team, before an official announcement at the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City, OK, Tuesday, July 2, 2013,  Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
United Soccer Leagues President Tim Holt discusses Oklahoma City's new professional soccer team, before an official announcement at the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City, OK, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Even though Oklahoma City could be home to two professional soccer teams by 2015, they would not be the first ones in the city.

PRO SOCCER IN OKLAHOMA CITY

In the spring of 1982, the Oklahoma City Slickers entered the American Soccer League.   The ASL was a second-division league that had roots as early as the 1930s.  The Slickers' head coach was Brian Harvey, and the team was led by English NASL veteran goal keeper Phil Parkes and Jeff Bourne at forward.

Oklahoma City went into its best-of-three ASL championship series against the Detroit Express with a 13-match winning streak in September 1982. After dropping the opening game, the Express took the last two games to win the title.

After 51 years, the ASL folded, and Oklahoma City joined three other ASL clubs — the Rochester Flash, the Dallas Americans and the Jacksonville Tea Men — to help form the United Soccer League. The USL debuted in the spring of 1984 with nine franchises.

The Slickers changed their name to the Oklahoma City Stampede for the 1984 season as part of the transition to the new league. The Stampede finished the 1984 season at 15-9, which tied for the best record in the USL. The Houston Dynamos eliminated the Stampede in the semifinals.

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