OKC Energy to host second round Open Cup match; moves to 7th in standings
The United States Soccer Federation recently announced the Second Round pairings and host scenarios for the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. OKC Energy FC will host the winner of the First Round match between Little Rock Rangers (NPSL) and NTX Rayados (Texas) on May 14 at John Crain Field on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 105 consecutive years dating from 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
For the first time, every game of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup from the First Round through the Final will be available for fans to watch on ESPN+. The Third Round, set for May 29, will pit the 22 Second Round winners against one another in regionally-determined action for the opportunity to face an MLS opponent in the Fourth Round on June 12.
Energy FC have competed in the U.S. Open Cup each year since the club’s inaugural 2014 season. The most notable appearances include a 1-0 victory over Tulsa Roughnecks FC in the 2015 Third Round, a 2-1 win over cross-town rivals Rayo OKC in the 2016 Third Round, a narrow defeat in penalty kicks to MLS’s FC Dallas in the 2016 Fourth Round and a 3-2 defeat against MLS’s Colorado Rapids in the 2017 Fourth Round after the Greens took a two-goal lead.
In recent on-field action, the Energy kept their first clean sheet last weekend and picked up their third win of the season, after Alvin Jones gave the Greens the early lead. The win moves OKC up to 7th in the Western Conference standings.
OKC started off on the front foot with a goal from Jones in the fourth minute. The defender’s 35-yard free kick took a deflection on the way to goal and wrong-footed OC goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes.
Alexy Bosetti had an opportunity to double the lead off a long throw-in from Jones in the 17th minute, but his side volley, though well-struck, was right at Cervantes.
The best chance in the first half for OC came in the 21st minute. Liam Trotter found some space near the top of the penalty area, but his curling effort missed just wide of Cody Laurendi’s far post.
It looked as if the Greens would increase the lead again the 32nd minute but came just inches from doing so. Bosetti’s long ball over the top sprung Christian Eissele free behind the OC defense, but the striker dragged his shot from just inside the penalty area wide of the post.
On the cusp of halftime, Omar Gordon nearly got on the scoresheet with a left-footed attempt from 18 yards out, but the strike took a deflection that carried it wide of the goal.
Bosetti linked up with Gordon in the 57th minute and almost found the back of the net, after the two went just about end-to-end, but the Frenchman’s shot clipped a defender and just skipped wide of the post.
Orange County crept back into the match and really tested the OKC defense late in the half, particularly during stoppage time, as Laurendi was forced to make several top-quality saves to keep the clean sheet. The best of the bunch came in the 92nd minute when a long throw-in fell to Vinicius who was able to get a head to it, but Laurendi reacted instinctively to tip the ball off the bar.
Energy FC hits the road again next weekend, as the first leg of the Black Gold Derby against Tulsa Roughnecks FC will take place at OneOK Field in Tulsa, Okla. Kickoff for that one is set for 7:00 p.m.