May 27, 2014

Open Cup provides respite for struggling Energy FC


The first season of existence for Energy FC has certainly been a trial by fire.

Winless in six league games, they find themselves second from bottom in the standings and face a potentially daunting visit from New York Red Bulls Reserves this weekend. Before that, however, is a chance to forget the league for awhile and focus on the U.S. Open Cup third round on Wednesday.

Energy face one of the two teams they have beaten in USL PRO this season, Arizona United SC, in Peoria, Ariz., at 9:30 p.m. central time. The last time they met, Oklahoma City looked like a free-scoring powerhouse in a 4-0 win.

It was their last. Since then, they've scored a grand total of three goals in six games while conceding 16, underlined by a disastrous 5-0 loss against LA Galaxy II on Sunday that followed a 4-1 home defeat by Richmond Kickers.

It's worth noting both "Los Dos" and the Kickers are top teams in the league, and that stretch also included two losses to top of the table Orlando City. But also in there is a narrow home defeat against Orange County, a team they handled easily in the season opener.

This is about par for the course when it comes to expansion teams. The first season is one of struggles as the team slowly comes together and builds an identity. One thing for certain is that team identity needs to have a little more efficiency in front of goal.

In the loss to Orange County, both teams recorded 13 shots each. Oklahoma City put two of those on goal, both from second-half substitutes. Starting striker Kyle Greig had one shot the entire game, while Philip Lund, the man tasked with playing just behind Greig out of the midfield, saw three of his miss the target.

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