Oklahoma City Energy FC made a handful of changes on Saturday night, but none of them worked well enough to get a victory.
The United Soccer League Pro division expansion team lost 1-0 to L.A. Galaxy II for the third time this season at Pribil Stadium in front of 4,102 fans to end Energy FC’s eight-game unbeaten streak.
Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen overhauled his starting lineup as the team played its second game in three days. Nielsen made eight changes to the lineup and said after the game he couldn’t be more pleased with how the players that usually only get a handful of minutes each game performed, some playing the full 90 minutes.
“I think the guys, they left everything on the field,” Nielsen said. “They were outstanding. I was just sitting in there (locker room) evaluating quick. If I would have changed anything it would have been nothing.”
Part of the changes were three new defenders on the back line. Nielsen always plays four guys back and inserted Tarek Morad, Cyprian Hedrick and Max Gunderson along with regular starter Peabo Doue.
Morad said it wasn’t a big difference to play alongside his fellow defenders because they play together in training all the time.
“We had a good chemistry and we all know our tendencies,” Morad said. “We were very comfortable back there together.”
The game remained scoreless for more than an hour. Galaxy II managed six shots in each half, most of which came from more than 20 yards out. But it was Raul Mendiola who took a cross in front of Energy FC goalkeeper Samir Badr in the 75th minute and fired it passed the diving keeper to the left for the game-winning goal.