Oklahoma City Energy FC snapped its four-match losing streak with a 2-0 win in Tulsa on Wednesday night in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Now, it’s back to the regular season, where Oklahoma City hasn’t won since April 12.
Energy FC hosts the Richmond Kickers at 7 p.m. Friday at Pribil Stadium. Richmond (3-1-3) is in third place in the USL Pro standings and has been scoring goals at a frantic pace the last two weeks. The Kickers put up six goals in a U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday night and have scored 16 goals in their last four matches.
But Energy FC coach Jimmy Nielsen said he isn’t hitting the panic button just yet. Nielsen said that chemistry continues to grow, and Energy FC (2-5-0) is itching to get its first home victory of the young season.
“From week to week, guys are picking up stuff we’re working on,” Nielsen said. “We just need that stuff to be smoother.”
“They want to win badly. They want to win for their home fans.”
Nielsen said the short rest between games isn’t anything to complain about. Each team has to go through the same scenarios throughout the season. Oklahoma City has played two matches in 72 hours twice already this season, winning the first match both times and dropping the second match.
Energy FC didn’t use all of its players in Wednesday’s match with Tulsa. Nielsen said he made that decision thinking about the Richmond match.
Richmond’s Major League Soccer affiliation is through D.C. United, and Richmond has 10 players on its roster from D.C.
“It’s kind of like we’re playing D.C. United,” Nielsen said.
Richmond is led by midfielder George Davis, who has a league-high five goals on the season. Forward Matthew Delicate has chipped in four goals of his own.
“They have a few guys up front that are excellent in scoring,” Nielsen said.
Richmond has used two goalkeepers this season. Joe Willis has five saves and has only allowed four goals in four matches. Ryan Taylor has six saves while allowing five goals in three matches.
“We have to go out there and play our game,” Nielsen said. “I think it (Tulsa) was a good win. Now we got to use that momentum. We finished that game really strong and we got to use that. Tomorrow is about discipline.”