The summer months of June and July weren’t too kind to the Oklahoma City Energy. The FCD affiliates fell into a rut hat saw them drop deep down the Western Conference standings. Loss after loss, draw after draw, the Energy fell as low as thirteenth.
Now, after a few good results in late July, the boys in green are back into contention. In their last three matches, the Energy have picked up two draws and a win. Goals, which have been an issue in the past, seem to be plenty as the Energy have scored six in their last three. This offensive flow can be pointed towards Andy Craven and newly signed forward Jose Angulo, who has picked up two goals in two games.
The season may finally be turning around, with the Energy having nearly three weeks at home, the club may finally re-energize after their long west coast road trip last month.
The Energy currently sits tenth in the conference, two points behind Orange County SC, who possess the eighth and final spot above the playoff line. A win tonight could push the Energy above the line for the first time in weeks.
However, Jimmy Nielsen’s squad will have to overcome an inform Reno 1868 FC team. The newly made USL side has hit the ground running this summer. In their last five matches, Reno has gone undefeated, winning two matches and drawing three. This run of form sees the club fourth in the West, eight points behind Swope Park Rangers.
OKC will need to keep their eye on Reno’s Dane Kelly. The Jamaican striker has scored an impressive 14 goals in 18 appearances. Kelly is a massive threat up top along with striking partner Antoine Hoppenot. Both forwards have combined for 21 goals this season, four less than the Energy’s combined total.
This will be a hard match for the Energy. They will have to be collected at the back if they hope to fend off Reno’s explosive offense.
Projected Starting XI:
Energy FC: Laurendi; R. Dixon, Daly, Hyland, Wallace; Guzman, A. Dixon, Bond Barril; Angulo, Craven
Reno 1868 FC: Bersano; Von Niederhausern, Ockford, Griffiths, Murrell; Felipe, Lagrassa, Mfeka, Wehan; Hoppenot, Kelly
Location: Taft Stadium; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Time & Date: 7:30 PM CT on August 2
Prediction: Draw, 2-2 (Craven 1x, Angulo 1x, Kelly 1x, Hoppenot 1x)
Livestream: WatchESPN Game of the Week