Yesterday I had a chance to sit down with the big wigs of Oklahoma City Energy FC. We had a live chat on NewsOK.com, you can see the full transcript here.
Looking back on it there are a few questions and answers I would like to get into a little further.
From Mike Scott: First season and currently sitting in the top half of the standings — not too shabby. What do you realistically see this team being capable of this season?
Tim McLaughlin, who is a partner with Bob Funk Jr. had this response:
“As an ownership group, we expect the best possible lineup we can put on the pitch each game. We’re confident in our head coach Jimmy Nielsen and the team he’s assembled. The results through the first four games have us excited about the prospects for the remainder of the season. As they continue to practice and play together, the team will continue to excel.”
Here’s the deal. Energy FC won its first game of the season and looked good doing it. Forced to play a second game in less than 48 hours it didn’t look so good and lost. OKC put together a well-played match in Arizona for win No. 2 but fell to the MLS Reserve team of FC Dallas.
So Mike is right, not too shabby. Nobody is going to win every game in any sport and Energy FC has shown a lot of toughness against the better teams it has faced.
From Andy: Along those lines, what does this brand of soccer offer the casual fan. I know a lot of die-hards that are super excited about the team, but I’m not the huge soccer fan they are.
In no way am I comparing Energy FC to the Thunder, but there are a lot of Thunder fans who were not basketball fans five years ago. Can soccer do this? Who knows? But soccer can be really exciting to watch. Yes the games don’t result in points like other sports, but there is a buzz that never stops during soccer games. It can be fun to partake in if you are a casual fan.
A guest wrote: What if OKC gets an MLS team? What will that mean for Energy FC?
Simply, Energy FC will be that MLS team. It will move from USL Pro to the MLS.
Ann asks: Can you tell us the difference between the Energy and the NASL team that seems to still be coming to town?
Ahhh, this question has been asked or at least mentioned so many times in a very short amount of time. Think of Los Angeles with the Lakers and the Clippers but imagine those teams playing in separate leagues. Energy FC plays in the United Soccer League’s Pro Division. Oklahoma City FC will play in the NASL (North American Soccer League) in 2015.
Frank responded: So is the USL a better league than NASL?
That’s hard to say. The soccer pyramid, which I believe to be outdated, goes like this: MLS is the top level of competition in North American soccer. No 2 is NASL and No. 3 is USL Pro. After that comes the Development league’s like Premier Development League and National Premier Soccer League and finally amateur soccer is at the bottom.
So according to the soccer pyramid, yes, NASL is better than USL Pro. But how much stock do you want to invest in a soccer pyramid. USL Pro has a team in Oklahoma City playing its first home game this Saturday. In 2015, you can measure them up side by side when the NASL team arrives.
Decide for yourself.