OKC Energy FC Announces 2014 Schedule
Oklahoma City, OK - OKC Energy FC, USL PRO affiliate of Sporting Kansas City, announced its inaugural season schedule today. The 28-game slate begins on the road against Orange County on April 5. The team's home opener is April 26 against defending USL PRO champion Orlando City SC. All OKC Energy FC home games will be played at Pribil Stadium on the campus of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma City.
"As we worked through putting the finishing touches on the schedule, it gave us a chance to examine and reflect on the course of the full year," Energy FC General Manager Jason Hawkins said. "There are stretches in the schedule that will require many members of the team to step up during times of the year to help make an impact. The league is not an easy one, and we have to show up each and every game ready to play.
"What more could you ask for than to test yourself early on against Orlando City, the champions and the team and players that are making a move into the MLS next year? It will be a great measuring stick for us to open at home against them."
In addition to the defending USL PRO champion Orlando City SC, other clubs visiting Oklahoma City include Orange County, Richmond, Rochester, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Charleston and the expansion Sacramento Republic.
USL PRO schedules also showcase games against Major League Soccer reserve teams. Energy FC travels to Dallas to take on FC Dallas' reserve team on April 15, while welcoming the New York Red Bull reserve team to Oklahoma City on May 31.
The 2014 USL PRO Playoffs will include the top eight finishers in the table, with the quarterfinals (No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, etc.) set for the weekend of September 12-14. The semifinals featuring the four remaining teams will be played the following weekend, with the 2014 USL PRO Championship set for the weekend of September 26-28. All playoff rounds feature a single-game knockout format and teams will not be re-seeded following each round.
Each of the 14 USL PRO teams will compete in two inter-league games against MLS Reserve League opponents. With eight teams remaining in the MLS Reserve League, a geographically influenced unbalanced schedule will be in place for interleague games. All inter-league games will count in both the official USL PRO and MLS Reserve League standings.
Energy FC is led by former Sporting Kansas City goaltender and 2013 MLS Cup champion, Jimmy Nielsen. Nielsen was a two-time MLS All Star, the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and goalkeeper for the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open championship club.
Season tickets for OKC Energy FC are available by calling the Energy FC office at 405-235-KICK (5425).
USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men's professional soccer league outside of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO features 15 teams for the 2014 season, including expansion teams in Oklahoma City and Sacramento. Presently 10 USL PRO teams have direct affiliations with Major League Soccer clubs.
The league not only serves as a springboard to the MLS for players, but also for franchises. Five of the last six clubs to enter MLS have moved up from the USL's top professional division. Among the most successful clubs, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC all operated franchises in the USL's top professional division before making the transition to MLS.