This past weekend didn't go to plan for the Oklahoma City Energy FC. The Western Conference USL side fell to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in a 1-0 defeat that saw little production from OKC's offense.
This loss sees the Energy remain towards the bottom of the conference table. The boys in green currently sit thirteenth with ten points to their name. In this spot, OKC remains two positions higher than last place Portland Timbers 2 and five positions below the playoff line; however, they need four points to gain a spot in the fall/winter postseason.
OKC's weekend opponents are currently 'rising' up the table. Phoenix Rising FC are tenth in the conference, only a win away from going above the playoff line. In their last five games, Phoenix has taken an inconsistent route, alternating between winning and losing (W,L,W,L,W).
The Energy and Phoenix previously met this season. In the match, Phoenix Rising forward Shaun Wright-Phillips scored a last minute howler to give his side an extra time win.
The Energy will need to be mindful of Phoenix this time. The team full of MLS and European experience is quick and agile. With MLS ambitions, the team has set a higher standard for themselves which reflects on the field. Phoenix will give OKC a run for their money, but home fans should expect their club to hold their own. I'd expect an even draw that has a few goals thrown in.
OKC fans should be happy that legend Didier Drogba will not make his debut for Phoenix until next week.
Projected starting XI:
Energy FC: Laurendi; R. Dixon, Daly, Hyland, Wallace; Guzman, Rasmussen, Luis Martinez, Barril, M. Gonzalez; Wojcik
Phoenix Rising: Cohen; Arreola, Greer, Ramage, Wakasa; Timm, Watson, Johnson, Avila; Wright-Phillips, Bravo
Location: Taft Stadium; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Time & Date: 7:30 PM CT on June 6
Prediction: Draw 2-2 (M. Gonzalez 1x, A. Dixon 1x; Bravo 1x, Shaun Wright-Phillips)