Oklahoma City Energy FC (0-1-0, 0 Pts.) vs.
Saint Louis FC (1-2-0, 3 Pts.)
Date: Saturday, April 9
Time: 7:00 PM CT
Venue: Taft Stadium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
LAST TIME OUT: The season opening three-game road trip came to an end last Saturday night in Irvine, California as Saint Louis FC earned its first victory of the season after rookie Vince Cicciarelli scored goals in the 88th minute and in added time to defeat the Orange County Blues 3-1. Cicciarelli earned USL player of the week honors for his efforts.
James Musa tallied the first goal of the year for Saint Louis with a left-footed free kick in the 32nd minute that bent around the defensive wall and snuck past a diving Brandon Miller into the top corner to level the score at 1-1.
Last Saturday's matchup against the Blues was the only scheduled meeting between the two teams this season.
THE OPPONENT: The Oklahoma City Energy FC is one of the few clubs in the Western Conference Saint Louis is familiar with after switching conferences in 2016. Having played the Energy twice last season and once in pre-season this year, the two sides should know what to expect from the other when stepping onto the pitch this Saturday night for the first of four meetings this season.
The Energy are coached by Jimmy Nielsen , a former MLS All-Star, MLS Cup champion and US Open Cup champion as a goalkeeper with Sporting Kansas City from 2010-2013. At the helm of the club in its first two seasons as well, Nielsen has compiled a regular season record of 22-14-21 and led the Energy to a second place finish in the Western Conference last season with a record of 13-8-7, 47 points.
Oklahoma City opened its season on March 26 at home against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The match resulted in a 2-1 loss for the Energy. Danni Konig was able to head home OKC's lone goal on a corner kick midway through the 2nd half, but the Energy were never able to find the equalizer.
Taft Stadium has been kind to the Energy in the past as the team only lost one game at home in 2015. The lone home defeat came on April 25 against Saint Louis FC.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Saint Louis FC had two players featured on the team of the week after last Saturday's win. Midfielder/forward Vince Cicciarelli earned Player of the Week honors while goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, who left the game in the 59th minute with an injury, was listed as a reserve after allowing a goal on a set piece in the first half but helped his cause with a penalty kick save in the 56th.
This marks Saint Louis FC's first USL Player of the Week distinction. Eleven STLFC players were honored with Team of the Week inclusion throughout the 2015 season.
Richard Dixon - out - lower body
Irvin Herrera - out - lower body
Ryan Thompson - out - lower body
Schillo Tshuma - out - lower body
Chad Vandegriffe - out - lower body