The Oklahoma City Energy FC will be traveling to Providence Park in Portland, Oregon Friday night to play Portland Timbers FC 2. This match will be the first of three away games against MLS reserve teams, the other two matches will be against the Seattle Sounders 2 and the Vancouver Whitecaps 2. Friday night’s contest will also be the second stop in a five-game away run, which began with the Energy’s midweek U.S. Open Cup loss to the Colorado Rapids and will end against the Real Monarchs on July 5.
The Energy will need to gather three points this weekend while in Portland. Having blown a 2-0 lead against the Colorado Rapids, the team will want to forget the tournament contest and unite for USL play. The OKC Energy currently stand in twelfth place in the Western Conference, only one point behind eight placed side Tulsa Roughnecks and a win away from fifth place side Rio Grande Valley FC. This tight Western Conference battle entails that the Energy are in need of three points to stay competitive in the table.
Their weeknight opponents, the Portland Timbers 2, are not doing so hot. The MLS reserve side is both the worst team in the Western Conference and the USL, only acquiring four points in their first 13 matches of the season. In addition, the Timbers’ reserve team has lost their last four matches, suggesting that the Energy will run away with this match.
As OKC continues to embark on this long road trip, they will need to get easy points where they can. A win against Portland would be a terrific victory for a side that is struggling at the bottom of the Western Conference table.
Projected starting XI:
Energy FC: Cochran; R. Dixon, Daly, Hyland, Wallace; Guzman, Rasmussen, Luis Martinez, Barril; M. Gonzalez, Craven
Portland Timbers 2: McIntosh; Jimenez, Amick, Batista, Bjornethun, Lowe; Granitto, Mohamed, Bijev, Bodily; Cicerone
Location: Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
Time & Date: 9:30 PM CT on June 16
Prediction: OKC Energy FC wins 1-0 (M. Gonzalez 1x)