Oklahoma City Energy FC: Sacramento expected to give Energy a good fight

Oklahoma City Energy FC hosts Sacramento Republic FC at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pribil Stadium on the Bishop McGuinness High School campus.
by Chris Brannick Published: June 27, 2014
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The first match was a fight, literally, and the rematch might be the same.

Oklahoma City Energy FC hosts Sacramento Republic FC at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pribil Stadium on the Bishop McGuinness High School campus.

Energy FC defeated Sacramento 2-0 two weeks ago at home, but Sacramento hasn’t lost since. The Republic beat the Colorado Rapids Reserve team in interleague play and then defeated Arizona United 1-0 on Thursday.

Energy FC defender Gareth Evans said Oklahoma City (4-7-3) is in for a battle.

“They got some big, strong boys,” Evans said. “They’re big at the back, and they got some big boys at the front. They move the ball well in the midfield. They’re a good overall team. You can see why they're doing good.”

Sacramento (8-4-2) is in fourth place in the United Soccer League’s Pro Division. But the Energy FC coaching staff knows what it takes to get a win.

Assistant coach James Ritchie said he hopes Sacramento comes ready to fight, which they did the last time the teams played on June 14. Ritchie said Sacramento loses its cool easily. During the first match between these teams, one of Sacramento’s players was sent off for kicking Energy FC defender Mark Howard.

Energy FC head coach Jimmy Nielsen said he’s seen Sacramento’s tendency to get rattled.

“I’ve seen them again a few times since we played them,” Nielsen said. “I don’t want to say they’re a dirty team, but when they get frustrated they lose a little lack of discipline. That’s where we got to try to get in there and make them frustrated so they can lose the discipline. That’s a part of the game, too, It’s not only everything with the ball and without the ball, it’s a mental game, too.”

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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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