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.
After six of the nine USL franchises folded or withdrew from the league in 1984, Stampede owner David Fraser moved his club to Tulsa and renamed it the Tornados. A week later, they canceled their June 1 home game after the team missed its payroll.
PRO SOCCER IN TULSA
The Tulsa Roughnecks were constantly in the NASL playoffs. In 1983, the Roughnecks won the NASL Soccer Bowl, defeating the Toronto Blizzard 2—0.
Tulsa drew huge crowds to Skelly Stadium and had a formidable fan base in the city. The Roughnecks peaked in 1980, drawing an average of 19,787 fans per game. When the team played the New York Cosmos that same year, there were a team-record 30,822 fans in the stands.
The Roughnecks went bankrupt in 1984, the year before the NASL folded in 1985.
When Tulsa joined the league, there were 24 teams, as opposed to four teams when the league went out of business.