Not everyone is able to keep up with FC Dallas’ affiliate USL club, the Oklahoma City Energy, on a daily basis. Whether it be due to distance or lack of media, FC Dallas fans struggle to keep their eye on their friendly OKC affiliates.
As the USL season comes to a close, the Energy will prepare themselves for yet another postseason return, marking it as the second straight season that OKC has moved on to the playoffs. Having failed to grab a win in their previous five matches, the Energy are in dire need of a win before the Western Conference playoffs kick off.
Newly Signed Andy Craven Underperforming?
Shortly after having been waived by the Seattle Sounders in early August, United States striker Andy Craven was quickly signed by Jimmy Nielsen. The signing was meant to provide another scoring option on an Energy team who has struggled all season to find goals. With main striker Danni Konig and FC Dallas loanee Colin Bonner struggling to find the back of the net, Craven was deemed to be club’s savior. However, as the weeks move on, the 24-year-old has done little to benefit OKC’s offense. In eight matches for the Energy, Craven has played 511 minutes, scoring zero goals and zero assists. If Jimmy Nielsen and company hope to make an impact in this year’s playoffs, they will definitely need more out of their newly acquired striker.
Laurendi Called To International Duty
Announced earlier today, OKC Energy goalkeeper Cody Laurendi has been officially named to Puerto Rico men’s national team’s roster. The 28-year-old United States native will join MLS veterans Jason Hernandez and Josh Saunders as the island nation competes in the third round of this year’s Scotiabank Carribean Cup.
There is no doubt that this season Laurendi has been playing his heart out, making a case to be this season’s USL Goalkeeper of the Year. As of the 2016 USL regular season, Laurendi has a 9-6-10 record, averaging a total of .88 goals per match in that time. In addition, Laurendi has accumulated a save percentage of .773 along with 12 shutouts in the 2,250 minutes he has played this season. Those 12 clean sheets have the 28-year-old goalkeeper currently tied with the USL’s single-season record for shutouts this year, thus, making his call-up fully deserved.
FC Dallas Loanees
Upon announcing their affiliation with the Energy, FC Dallas made it known that they planned to loan players to the Oklahoma City-based club. Throughout the year, three FC Dallas players have spent time up in OKC, including Coy Craft, Timo Pitter, and Colin Bonner. As the season progressed, it became clear that these three individuals have developed greatly under head coach Jimmy Nielsen.
FC Dallas Homegrown product Coy Craft spent 11 matches in Oklahoma, improving at such a great rate that it eventually resulted in his return to Oscar Pareja’s squad. In the 19-year-old’s short stint with OKC, he scored three goals and assisted one.
German native Timo Pitter has enjoyed his time while in Oklahoma City, gaining game time experience week in and week out. Having played all over the field, Pitter has become a more dynamic player, which is something Pareja looks for in his players. In ten matches for the Energy, the 24-year-old midfielder has scored a total of two goals while assisting two.
Tall and strong is a simple way of describing FC Dallas’ 6’4” striker Colin Bonner, who has improved technically with the Energy. Having practiced with fellow large strikers Danni Konig and Wojciech Wojcik, Bonner has learned a great deal that will affect him positively in areas such as technique and shooting. Bonner should return to Dallas at the end of the year with new abilities in his locker. Using his size and physic, Bonner could prove to be a dynamic set piece specialist. In 14 matches for the Energy, the 22-year-old Baltimore native has scored a meager two goals, which does not reflect how well the FC Dallas loanee has done under Nielsen.
The OKC Energy FC will remain home at Taft Stadium this weekend to take on fellow Western Conference side St. Louis FC. The match will kickoff at 6 p.m CT, airing on the USL’s Youtube Channel.