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Energy FC front office taking shape

by Chris Brannick Published: January 4, 2014
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Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, center, holds the MLS Cup as he and his teammates celebrate their 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup final soccer match in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, center, holds the MLS Cup as he and his teammates celebrate their 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup final soccer match in Kansas City, Kan., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

More personnel has been named for Oklahoma City Energy FC, who will begin their inaugural season in USL Pro in just a short couple of months.

Jason Hawkins and Chris Spendlove are the newest members of Oklahoma City’s newest soccer team. Hawkins has been named general manager and Spendlove, assistant coach. Jimmy Nielsen was named head coach two weeks ago.

Unlike Nielsen, Hawkins and Spendlove are local guys with coaching experience, which could be beneficial to the recently retired goalkeeper. Nielsen retired from Sporting Kansas City following a win in the MLS Cup last month.

Hawkins has been involved with soccer in Oklahoma City for some time while working as vice-president, among other titles, at First Fidelity Bank for the last 12 years. Hawkins has been involved in soccer locally for more than 20 years working with the Oklahoma Soccer Association, Oklahoma Football Club as well as working with North Oklahoma City United and Royals Football Club.

Spendlove also has local ties, he spent the last three seasons working with Oklahoma State and their soccer team. He has also worked with McGuinness, Yukon and Casady high schools. Spendlove played in USL Pro himself as part of the Wilmington Hammerheads and has experience in USL’s Priemere Development League with Oklahoma City FC, but has also played in the United Kingdom for Preston North End Football Club and Everton. Spendlove, 29, is a Liverpool, England native.

Energy FC still doesn’t have a roster with the season now two months away, though the hiring of a GM certainly will help. USL Pro is finalizing the schedule for the 2014 season and said it should be released this month.

by Chris Brannick
Copy Editor, OKC Energy FC Reporter
Chris Brannick is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, where he served as Sports Editor of The Vista, UCO's student newspaper. Originally from Utica, N.Y., he graduated from Sallisaw High School in 2003.
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