Michael Thomas isn’t in the business of making excuses. The midfielder, and captain of Energy FC knows times are tough and aren’t going to get any easier in the near future.
Oklahoma City Energy FC travels to Tulsa on Wednesday to take on the Tulsa Athletics at 7 p.m. in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It will be Oklahoma City’s second match in five days. They will have played three matches in seven days by Friday.
Tulsa Athletics, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League, kicked off its season the way every team hopes to. Four matches, four wins. The A’s won the Red River Cup with wins over Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City FC and picked up results in two road victories against Ft. Worth and the BCS Clash of Texas.
Energy FC (2-5-0) on the other hand, heads to Tulsa with a four-match losing streak in tow. The expansion team hasn’t won a match in over a month and has been shut out in two of the four losses. But Michael Thomas said it’s Energy FC’s fault for the losses.
“We’ve been beating ourselves,” Thomas said. “We’ve been making critical mistakes at not the best times and other teams have been capitalizing off that.”
Tulsa (4-0-0) has the tools in place to capitalize off any mistakes OKC might make. Ray Saari has five goals in the first four matches of the season, and Brian McCurdy has netted four goals. Saari and McCurdy both played collegiately for the University of Tulsa before joining the Athletics.
Tulsa has scored 22 goals in four matches already this season while notching shutouts in its last two matches. The Athletics have only allowed three goals.
“It’s not a team to be taken lightly at all,” Thomas said. “I know they have done well this past weekend. It’s a chance for them to win a trophy this year too. We have to come out and we need a result right now. We need it for team morale, for a little bit of a confidence booster right now too.”
The 101st edition of the Open Cup began last week with amateur teams competing in the first round. USL Pro teams enter into the second round and NASL teams, the third round. Major League Soccer enters into the fourth round, which serves as the quarterfinals.