Oklahoma City Energy FC traveled to Dallas on Monday to take on the FC Dallas Reserves at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
When the United Soccer League Pro Division partnered with MLS two years ago, the deal included loaning players who wouldn’t get minutes in the MLS to the USL Pro affiliates.
The other part of the deal was two games for each USL Pro team against an MLS Reserve League team. All 19 MLS clubs have reserve teams. Games between reserve teams and USL Pro teams don’t count in the reserves’ season standings but do count in the USL Pro standings. Energy FC also hosts the MLS Reserve League’s New York Red Bulls Reserves on May 31.
FC Dallas (2-0) has wins over both Montreal and Chivas USA’s Reserve teams. Forward Tesho Akindele has two goals on the season, with both coming in the win over Chivas. Akindele was the sixth pick of this year’s MLS SuperDraft out of Colorado School of Mines.
Andres Escobar and Steven Keel each scored a goal in FC Dallas’ win over Montreal, and Richard Sanchez earned a shutout in goal.
“This is going to be their toughest challenge yet,” Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen said. “We're going to face a very similar look to L.A. Galaxy II.”
Energy FC lost to Los Angeles 4-2 on April 7.
Energy get three points in Arizona
Oklahoma City Energy FC picked up three more points with a 4-0 win over the Arizona United in Saturday night’s USL Pro game in Peoria, Ariz. The match was tied 0-0 at halftime but just before that, Arizona’s London Woodberry picked up his second yellow card, giving Energy FC the advantage for the entire second half playing against 10 men.
It didn’t take long for OKC to use the mismatch in its favor. Edmond native Steven Perry scored his first goal of the season in the 46th minute. Kyle Greig scored just a five minutes later.
“I think they played overall a very good game,” Nielsen said of his team. “It was two very different halves and in the second half they moved the ball better.”
OKC’s Jon Kempin made his second start of the season in goal and played the full 90 minutes, saving one shot.
With Kempin starting again in Arizona, it seems clear he’s Energy FC’s No. 1 keeper. The Sporting Kansas City loanee missed Energy FC’s first match when he was recalled by the MLS affiliate, and Ray Clark got the start.
Clark, a Norman native, played all 90 minutes for OKC in a 2-0 win over Orange County SC.
Samir Badr, who logged the most minutes in the preseason, has yet to make an appearance in any of Energy FC’s three games this season.
He was kept out of the first match because of a paperwork issue with Badr's former league in Egypt. Nielsen said Badr is available for Tuesday's match but that Kempin was the first choice.
Nielsen said several players were suffering from stomach flu and didn’t travel with the team to Dallas Nielsen would not reveal who those players were, but defender Tarek Morad tweeted get well wishes to teammates Paul Wyatt and Peabo Doue. Nielsen said if the players were ready to go on Tuesday, they would meet the team in Dallas.
Tuesday’s game can be seen online at https://www.youtube.com/user/USLPRO. KXXY 96.1 FM will broadcast the game with Jack Damrill and Mo Borehan making the call.