San Antonio FC will host Oklahoma City Energy FC at Toyota Field on Wednesday, July 4, and while there will definitely be fireworks off the pitch after the match, it’s not unlikely that there will be some on it as well between the regional rivals.
The two sides have met seven times in USL competition, and six of them, including the Western Conference playoff semifinal in 2017, ended in draws. OKC won the seventh of their matches together back in 2016 and remains the only team in the USL Western Conference which SAFC has never beaten. The series has always produced tight and lively contests though, and neither team has scored more than one goal in a given match.
A couple months ago, Energy FC was languishing at the bottom of the standings and at one point went on an eight-match losing streak. They’ve recently begun to turn that around though, amassing four wins since the end of that run, including three in a row heading into Wednesday’s match.
SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell highlighted the recent run of good form OKC has had rather than the history of close results between the two clubs. That mentality has trickled down to the players as well with defenders Gianluca Cuomo and Cyprian Hedrick saying they’re treating it like any other match.
”Obviously, I still have some friends on the team, but it’s just another game, another opportunity for us to get three points and a shutout,” said Hedrick, who spent three seasons with Energy FC and is now in his second with SAFC.
Though SAFC is still ahead of OKC in the standings, they don’t have comparable form heading into Wednesday as inconsistency continues to be the story of their season. They’ve won, drawn and lost two matches apiece of their last six in league play, and the 3-4-3 formation which breathed a bit of life into the last few matches may already have been discarded.
SAFC can take solace from getting their first ever goal and result in Colorado Springs against Switchbacks FC this past weekend despite wild weather just hours before the match. They also rested defender Ryan Felix and midfielder Jose Escalante, two players who have often been in the starting lineup and helped lead SAFC.
In addition to fireworks, SAFC is having dollar drink night as well as an Extra Time postgame party and will be playing in their alternate jersey for the first time, all creating quite the extravaganza befitting of the July 4th holiday.
San Antonio FC
Record: 5-4-6 | Form: LWWLD | Previous match: 1-1 at Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
OKC Energy FC
Record: 5-10-1 | Form: LLWWW | Previous match: 1-0 vs LA Galaxy II
Two Ten Soccer Projected Starting XI: Restrepo; King, Hedrick, Felix, Cochrane; Ward, Roushandel; Gordon, Presley, Escalante; Murphy
Jonathan Check: SAFC 1-1 OKC
Jesus Miguel Garcia: SAFC ?-? OKC
Jose Mario Jimenez: SAFC 3-0 OKC
Larry Leathers: SAFC ?-? OKC
Kyle Mahnke: SAFC 2-0 OKC
How to watch: ESPN+, 7:30pm central time
Follow along on social media: #SAvOKC @TwoTenSoccer @checkjfooty @LarryLeathers87 @Kyle_Mahnke