On the Pitch


James Ritchie To Join Energy FC Staff

by Chris Brannick Published: February 13, 2014

Oklahoma City Energy FC may be nearing a deal with another assistant coach, though the team isn’t ready to release the details just yet.

Prost Amerika Soccer posted on its website on Thursday that James Ritchie is heading to Oklahoma City to become an assistant to Jimmy Nielsen. Ritchie previously coached Kitsap Pumas of the Professional Development League, another division of the United Soccer Leagues of which Energy FC will play in the Pro division.

ProstAmerika.com had this quote from Ritchie:

“I am really looking forward to the challenge. Firstly I’d like to thank everybody at the Kitsap Pumas for this incredible journey. I have met some fantastic players in Bremerton (Wash.) and will cherish all my life some of the amazing times we have had.”

In a text message response, Energy FC General Manager Jason Hawkins said, “No comment at this time. Will discuss if and when the time is right.”

That time could be this weekend, though Hawkins wouldn’t go into any further details. Oklahoma City is hosting its first of two open tryouts at South Lakes Soccer Complex in southwest Oklahoma City on Saturday and Sunday.

Prost Amerika reported the Ritchie would fly to Oklahoma City to begin working with Nielsen and fellow assistant Chris Spendlove on Friday.

Ritchie, 32, was an assistant with Kitsap during their PDL National Championship run in 2011 before being promoted to head coach in November of that year. His specialties included goalkeeping and recruiting.

Kitsap Pumas went 3-4-7 last season, finishing fifth place in the Northwest division.


by Chris Brannick
Copy Editor
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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