Energy Soccer

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By Tim Farley

Now its third year of pro soccer in Oklahoma City, Energy FC is averaging 6,000 fans for the first two homes with another slated Saturday, April 23 against Rochester.

The Energy’s third game in Vancouver on April 16 was postponed after the team was unable to leave Denver due to a massive snow storm. Due to the postponement, Energy FC has played the fewest games of any United Soccer League (USL).

However, Energy FC will be looking for its first win against one loss and a draw when Rochester comes to town Saturday for a 7 p.m. encounter. Rochester is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference of the USL.

“We’ve been good and we’ve been strong both on and off the field,” said Energy FC General Manager Jason Hawkins. “On the field, we made a few changes during the off-season and we’ve had a couple of nicks with our goalkeeper being out but I think we’re beginning to jell.”

Oklahoma City fans have been good to the Energy FC since it opened with its inaugural season in 2014.
“We have a real strong sports market in Oklahoma City with the Thunder, the NCAA tournaments and now soccer,” Hawkins said.

The 29-team league – 14 teams in Eastern Conference and 15 in the Western Conference – has developed a level playing field in the last two years with no single team dominating in either conference.

“There is a ton of parity in the league right now,” Hawkins said. “Everybody has to come to play every game. No one has any big advantage. I’ve seen a lot of games determined in the last five or 10 minutes.”

For Oklahoma City, the goal this season is to advance to the league championship match. Last season, Energy FC lost 2-1 in the Western Conference final. But for now, the team wants to get out of the Western Conference cellar with only one standings point compared to nine for conference leader LA Galaxy II, the same team that defeated Energy in the conference final last season.

“Getting to the playoffs is a whole new season of individual games since this is a one-and-done format,” Hawkins said.

Energy FC plays all of its home games at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City. Energy opened last season at Taft, which was renovated two years ago.

For a complete regular-season schedule and other team news, visit www.energyfc.com

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