Oklahoma City Energy FC hosts Charleston at 7 p.m. in the last home match of the season for Energy FC. What an inaugural season it’s been too. Energy FC lost its first three home games before winning four of the next five. The first game in team history, a preseason contest in Norman, was played in temperatures below freezing. Forecasts say tonight’s temperature will be around 99 degrees. With that, here are my Five Joules of Energy for tonight’s contest.
No. 1, Kevin Ellis is back. Sporting Kansas City loaned Ellis to Energy FC in April and recalled him in May and following a 3-0 loss to DC United last night in which Ellis did not play, Sporting KC loaned Ellis back to Energy FC just in time for the playoff push.
1A: Energy FC went 0-4-0 with Ellis earlier this season.
1B: Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen said Ellis loves it here and is dying to get on the field and play. “Kevin Ellis is ready to play and he’s starting,” Nielsen said. “I talked to Peter (Vermes) in Kansas City and said if he didn’t get in the game yesterday then he could be here.”
1C: Ellis started ten of 14 games for Sporting KC and was named to the MLS Team of the Week twice, in weeks 14 and 16.
No. 2, Michael Thomas is out. Thomas sat out against Arizona on Aug. 14 with a foot injury, served a suspension against L.A. Galaxy II for an accumulation of yellow cards and sat out again with the injury against Arizona on Aug. 22. Thomas, the team captain, won’t play tonight again tonight.
No. 3, For the moment Energy FC has dropped to 12th place. The wild finish to the season continues. Wilmington won on Saturday night in Orange County and played to an even draw against Galaxy II earlier today. The four standings points earned give Wilmington 30, which knocked Energy FC down further into the USLPRO table. Pittsburgh also won earlier today to pull even with Energy FC at 29 points. An Energy FC win however, moves them all the way back up to a tie for sixth, with Charleston.
No. 4, Energy FC is 5-6-2 at home this season and has scored 12 goals while allowing 12 as well.
No. 5, Tarek Morad and Mark Howard will be suspended for tonight’s game because of receiving red cards against Arizona on Friday night. Morad received a straight red in stoppage time after Howard received two first half yellow cards, resulting in his absence for the entire second half.