Oklahoma City Energy FC's club crest.

New USL Pro franchise arrives, Oklahoma City Energy FC unveiled


On Thursday the newest professional soccer team in the USA were finally named and given club colors and a badge to go with it.

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the Oklahoma City Energy FC for the 2014 USL Pro season.

Blimey, that’s a mouthful…

Anyway, I’m sure a snappy abbreviation will catch on very quickly and I have to say, I do like the colors and the new club badge a lot. It’s all very Republic of Ireland and Seattle Sounders-ish. Owner Bob Funk Jr. has done a good job with the branding, as the USL’s portfolio of clubs spreads to OKC and Sacramento for the 2014 season.

Soccer in the second and third tiers of the U.S. is growing exponentially.

Oklahoma City Energy FC’s club crest.

(MORE: Let the battle commence in Oklahoma City, as USL-NASL square off)

USL Pro setting up shop in OKC has been a long-winded process with two different business groups scrapping for soccer supremacy in the Southwest city. A few months back both a USL Pro and NASL franchise were awarded to OKC. The NASL will bring a team to OKC in 2015, but first the Energy and USL will look to push soccer to new boundaries out West.

Will a new version of ‘Soccer City USA’ soon spring up in Oklahoma City?

Jake Edwards, Vice President of USL Pro is extremely excited to welcome OKC Energy FC to the league.

“It was an easy decision to make to select this ownership group,” Edwards said. “Because we knew that they had the capability, experience and the vision to not only be one of the best teams in our league off and on the field, but also have a realistic chance to bring Major League Soccer to Oklahoma in the coming years.”

For explanations about the new 2014 home and away jerseys and the idea behind the clubs name and logo, the Energy’s official website has all the latest.

Oklahoma City Energy FC unveiled their home and away uniforms for the 2014 USL Pro season. Thoughts?

Will pro soccer in OKC take off? We will have to wait and see but the team are certainly planning big for the future. During their inaugural season the side will play at a high school stadium in Oklahoma City while their 7,000 seater soccer-specific stadium is being planned out and built. Further down the line that stadium could be expanded to 20,000 as a Major League Soccer side is the ultimate goal.

Can the Energy surge in their first season as a pro club? Or will it be lights out for soccer in OKC? Sorry, couldn’t help myself…

College Soccer Update: Stingy Kentucky picking up speed; Cal Poly’s overhead wonder (video)

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Three-hundred thirty-two minutes and 26 seconds. That’s how long it’s been since an opponent has managed to put a ball into the goal behind the University of Kentucky men’s team.

It’s a statistic which not only makes an impression, but carries hope; Hope that the Wildcats will improve upon last season’s tournament work that saw them exit their conference tourney and the NCAA tournament early.

“If you go back to last year we had a really good run, but got knocked out in our conference tournament and then in the first round of the NCAA Tournament,” said fourth-year head coach Johan Cedergren. “Peaked too early and got a little overconfident.”

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The Wildcats are atop Conference USA with a 3-0 record in league play, having knocked off a strong New Mexico side this weekend. They’ll face Evansville and Ohio State the following two Wednesdays before meeting fellow CUSA 3-0 squad South Carolina.

It’s all according to plan for Cedergren, who is experiencing the senior years of his first recruiting class. One of those is goalkeeper Callum Irving, who is one clean sheet away from making program history for the most blankings as a Wildcat.

It’s helped having a versatile team to help out. Despite injuries to a pair of key backs, junior center back Jordan Wilson and senior holding mid Kristoffeer Tollefsen have combined with Irving to keep the side well-organized.

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“Over here you are very stat focused and Callum wouldn’t have these numbers without (Wilson),” Cedergren said. “And Tollefsen plays that holding mid role that is very hard to quantify. He made third team all conference last year, but he’s one of the best players and he’s playing at 75% percent.”

Cedegren also credits Hermann Award watch lister Napo Matsoso, who leads the team in shots, with keeping teams off-balance. And between Irving and the attack, the coach hopes that this season is the year the Wildcats will peak at the right time.

Three stars

  1. Oregon State — The Beavers opened PAC-12 play with a pair of 1-0 wins, knocking off UCLA with a Timmy Mueller (remember the name goal) before knocking off San Diego State by the same score. Next weekend? Cal and Stanford, both on the road.
  2. Nick DePuy, UCSB —  The 6-foot-4 junior forward has only been held off the score sheet thrice this season, and fired off 10 shots including three goals this weekend. Two were road game-winners at UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge.
  3. Chase Minter, Cal Poly — All three stars stay on the West Coast, thanks to Minter’s work setting himself up for this bicycle kick goal.

Other notes

— Creighton is back as the unrivaled No. 1 in the country amongst men’s Division I sides, claiming all 24 votes.
— Only one change in the Top 10, as Virginia moves up a spot to No. 10 and Elon falls three spots to No. 13. Leaping into the Top 25 after not receiving any votes last week is Oregon State. Kentucky, Butler and Syracuse move from receiving votes to Top 25.
— There s a single player who is in both the D-1 Top Ten in goals and assists, and his name will be familiar to those who read this space: Buffalo’s Russell Cicerone has eight goals and six assists after a 2+3 performance at St. Bonaventure on Saturday night.
— Also No. 1: Midwestern State (Men’s D2), Franklin & Marshall (Men’s D3), North Carolina (Women’s D1), Gannon (Women’s D2), Messiah (Women’s D3)

Samir Nasri rules out return to France squad; Likes MLS over Ligue 1

Manchester City's Samir Nasri celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
AP Photo/Jon Super
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When Samir Nasri is done with his time at Manchester City, he doesn’t want a return to Ligue 1. We knew that. He’s said it in March, and again over the summer.

But his willingness to stay away from home goes for club and country, as he’s not interested in a return to the national team fold. Heck, they could hire his family and he’s scoff at the idea.

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Nasri played in Marseille from his age 10 year through 2004, when he headed to Arsenal. He also scored five goals in 41 caps before being removed from the French fold by Didier Deschamps.

That hurt.

From Sky Sports:

“Even if my dad is coach, I will not return,” he said on French television. “I’ve suffered with the selections… missing a World Cup destroys you a bit. After 2012 I wanted to stop but my father told me I had to play the World Cup. I tried to be good.

“I do not see myself returning to Ligue 1. I love the Premier League. I like my life in England,” said Nasri. “I see myself going to play in the MLS, to discover something other than France.”

That makes at least three times Nasri has proffered a “come get me… eventually” plea to American powers-that-be.

Nasri is a bit of a loose cannon, but he’s also the sort of player who could punish defenses in MLS if given the chance to operate as the focal point of an attack. Perhaps with Didier Drogba in Montreal?

No, his time at the Etihad Stadium isn’t nearing an end just yet but… Yes, please. Maybe Nasri is one of those “In the league but not at the risk of my favorite team” players, but yes, please.