Let’s start with Jon Kempin. The goalkeeper allowed four goals on Monday night in a 4-2 loss to Los Angeles Galaxy II. Energy FC only allowed three goals combined in six preseason friendlies and its opener against the Orange County Blues on Saturday night. As fast as the weekend was for OKC, it was just as wild for Kempin.
Sporting Kansas City loaned Kempin to Oklahoma City but when injury struck the reigning MLS champs, Kempin was recalled for one match, Saturday’s contest with Real Salt Lake. Kempin then flew to L.A. to be with the Energy and got the start in goal. It didn’t go well.
Ray Clark, a Norman native, started and played the full 90 minutes in Saturday’s opener earning a clean sheet (a shutout). Kempin played the full 90 minutes against Galaxy II and did get four saves but also let four balls get past him.
It’s easy to pick apart a loss. Energy FC got outplayed, outworked or they just didn’t have it. You can always find a reason for why a team lost the game but Jimmy Nielsen said before the game that excuses were not to be made regarding OKC playing two games in 48 hours. The team certainly did not with tweets pouring in in the early hours of the morning.
All of them said something along the lines of, “I’m really proud of my team and their effort.”
OKC is young both literally and figuratively. The team has played two games in franchise history. One loss doesn’t dictate anything and all of the players tweeted how much more hungry the loss made them to work towards getting better for its next match.
How about the offense? Oklahoma City won its first match 2-0 and scored two goals in Monday night’s loss. Kyle Greig, who led the team in scoring in the preseason and scored one goal against Orange County didn’t get in on the scoring Monday night but had an assist in the 8th minute when Peabo Doue scored the first goal of the match.
Peter Caringi III scored OKC’s other goal near the one hour mark.
Energy FC will need to score more than two goals per game if they want to get more wins in this league. But I wouldn’t be too discouraged. They had plenty of opportunities on Monday night finishing with 13 shots. But only three were on goal, that is something that needs to get better.
The 4-2 loss to Galaxy II was a tale of two halves. Oklahoma City came out with a lot of energy, which they’ve done in both games this season. But L.A. evened the score at 1-1 just six minutes after Doue scored and then jumped out to a 3-1 lead with two goals in a four minute span just before halftime.
Nielsen said after the game in an interview with EnergyFCTV, that OKC’s defensive spacing was too far apart and that L.A. had the chance to get their goals from set plays rather than having created them. In other words, Galaxy II scored on a corner kick and a free kick, not in open play.
In the second half, Energy FC played much better, not allowing a goal until stoppage time when the game was all but lost.
When is that next match? Saturday. No rest for the weary, I suppose. Oklahoma City travels to Arizona United on Saturday, the match set for 9:10 p.m. Defender Cyprian Hedrick played for Arizona last year, they were called Phoenix FC then. Hedrick appeared in 24 games.