The phrase “Be ready to play at all times” reigns true for Energy FC.
Sporting Kansas City recalled goalkeeper Jon Kempin from Oklahoma City just days before Energy FC was set to take on Orange County FC in its first regular season match in franchise history. Samir Badr, who logged the most minutes in goal during the preseason, doesn’t have a problem with that.
The move means Badr will have the opportunity to handle the main responsibilities in goal on Saturday night in Irvine, California. Ray Clark, a Norman native, is the third keeper on Energy FC’s roster and when asked about Kempin’s call-up, coach Jimmy Nielsen simply said, “That’s why we have three keepers.”
Oklahoma City only allowed two goals in six preseason matches, albeit all against college teams, but Badr said that slate of games helped the team in a big way.
“We’ve had a long preseason so we’ve had a lot of time to go over some stuff.” Badr said. “Jimmy’s prepared us really well. Tactically, physically fitness wise and quality wise, we’re all ready to go.”
Oklahoma City practiced for the last time on Thursday before heading out to California for their first two matches. Saturday night in Irvine and on Monday in Los Angeles against the L.A. Galaxy II.
Badr said the team needs to carry over their success from the preseason into Saturday night’s opener.
“As a team we’ve got a solid defense,” Badr said. “I think we’re just solid across the back. A lot of it is effort and high up the field when we lose the ball we react really well. We don’t give teams chances in our final third and we don’t take risks in our final third.”
Oklahoma City takes on Orange County Saturday night at 9 p.m. You can watch the game live on YouTube or tune into 96.1 FM and listen as Jack Damrill and Mo Borehan call the game.