NASL/USLPRO Ticker: OKC team named named Energy FC; Ayoze signs Cosmos extension; and more

OKCEnergyFCLogo1 (EnergyFC)

By MARC SERBER

Some four months after being awarded a franchise, the owners of the new USL Pro Oklahoma City team announced the club’s name, colors, and venue for the 2014 season at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The team will be known as OKC Energy FC, emphasizing Oklahoma City’s connections with the energy industry.

“There is an obvious tie to the oil, natural gas and renewable resource sector in our city,” said Prodigal LLC CEO Bob Funk Jr., “but it also speaks to the renaissance underway in Oklahoma City.”

The club’s colors will be green (the state’s official color) and blue to represent the horizon line along the plains, with the team’s home and away jerseys set to match that color set.

The Energy’s crest contains the state flag, an exploding star, and an abstract soccer ball—all to symbolize the club’s origins and the energy the club hopes will propel it up the table in its first year of existence.

Prodigal LLC also announced that the OKC Energy will play its home games at Pribil Stadium on the campus of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, although there have been rumblings that the club may eventually build a soccer-specific stadium.

Here are some more notes from around the NASL/USL PRO this week:

AYOZE EXTENDS TIME WITH COSMOS

After a strong half-season with the New York Cosmos, Spanish left back Ayoze has decided to extend his stay in the United States.

On the eve of the Cosmos’ friendly match against Villarreal Wednesday, the Cosmos announced that Ayoze had signed a contract extension, though terms of the deal were not disclosed per league and club policy.

“Ayoze has been a key player for us all season long,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement. “He’s adjusted quickly to playing in the U.S. and his ability to play left back and midfield gives us great versatility. I’m delighted that we have been able to sign him to a new deal.”

Following a surprising move to the Cosmos from Sporting Gijon last spring, Ayoze settled in well in New York and helped the Cosmos win the NASL Soccer Bowl title in their first year back as a professional franchise. The 27-year-old made 13 appearances with 12 starts for the Cosmos in the 2013 season.

COSMOS FALL TO VILLARREAL IN SENNA TRIBUTE MATCH

The final score may not have gone the way the Cosmos had hoped, but it was a win-win for everyone involved.

In a testimonial match for Villarreal legend and current Cosmos midfielder Marcos Senna at El Madrigal stadium in Villarreal, the home side took down the Cosmos, 3-0, just four days after the NASL side had taken home the Soccer Bowl title. Senna played the first half for Villarreal and the second half for the Cosmos.

A lively crowd came out to welcome Senna back after he spent 11 years with the club, making 363 appearances for the side and playing in La Liga, UEFA Champions League, and then guiding the club back to the first division after a short stay in the second tier in Spain.

MINNESOTA UNITED TO RETAIN ITS TOP SCORER

The NASL’s leading goalscorer over the last three seasons isn’t ready to leave Minnesota.

On Wednesday, Minnesota United FC announced that forward Pablo Campos would be returning with the team next season after an inaugural season where he scored 13 times in 17 matches to go with five assists. The Brazilian native’s goal total was second best in the league.

“We are extremely excited to have Pablo back on the roster as we build towards 2015,” said head coach Manny Lagos in a statement on the club’s website. “There is no doubt he has made a big impact on the field and is an exciting player for the club and fans. He is very committed to this club winning a championship while building on our relationships in the local community.”

The 30-year-old Rio de Janeiro native leads the NASL with 45 goals over the last three seasons. He is also the only player to score more than 10 goals in each of those campaigns. Campos played with the Carolina Railhawks, San Antonio Scorpions (where he won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot), and Minnesota United over that three-year span.

Prior to playing in the NASL, Campos spent time with the San Jose Earthquakes before winning the 2009 MLS Cup with Real Salt Lake.

OTTAWA FURY ADDS YOUNG BUT EXPERIENCED BRAZILIAN

The expansion Ottawa Fury haven’t played a game yet, but they’ve managed to convince a player with European experience to come join the club.

Head coach Marc Dos Santos announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Oliver Minatel to a one-year deal, which is now awaiting an international transfer clearance.

Though he joined from Brazilian second division side Velo Clube, Minatel spent the previous three seasons with Portuguese side CD Nacional. Two of those campaigns came in Portugal’s first division.

Although only 21, Minatel has an abundance of experience at the top level. At just 18, he became the youngest Nacional’s player to feature in an international match, starting a UEFA Europa League qualifier against Icelandic opponents FH Hafnarfjordur.

Minatel also spent time in Holland with PSV Eindhoven’s famed youth academy, playing for their U-19 squad before making the leap to Portugal.

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What do you think of these reports? Do you like the name Energy FC? Do you see soccer succeeding in Oklahoma City? Do you see Ayoze staying with the Cosmos for the long term?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in NASL, New York Cosmos, USL Pro. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to NASL/USLPRO Ticker: OKC team named named Energy FC; Ayoze signs Cosmos extension; and more

  1. yankiboy says:

    Thanks a lot for the NASL and USLPRO coverage. I follow both leagues and it’s always nice to get any info on them available.

  2. RBNY says:

    I guess people can stop calling us “Energy Drink FC” now that there really is “Energy FC”. Back to the drawing board with yous…

    • yankiboy says:

      You can rest assured that we will still refer to YOUR club that way.

      The best MLS goal celebration ever–Eskandarian grabbin’ that can and dissin’ the way that he did. Can’t believe got fined for that. DCU supporters passed around a hat to help Dude pay the fine.

      Hilarrrraaarrrrriousssss!

      But I digress…

    • jspech says:

      yeah maybe now RBNJ will be nick-named Suckers FC.

      Sorry bro all in yest, u made it easy.
      Go Cosmos!!

  3. MLSfan says:

    I thought OKC’s logo might have some kinda wagon wheel on it instead.

  4. Coco says:

    energy fc? that has to be the most ridiculous name ever.

  5. Cole says:

    Energy FC sounds like the weirdest name ever but Dynamo and energy arent far apart, I just feel like they need to incorporate the city name somehow

  6. BBB says:

    Names…do any teams have good names in US pro ball? Seems way too much effort goes into making pro team names as boring and PC as possible, and, yes, “Energy FC” that includes you.

  7. William the Terror says:

    First thing, I hate the motto. “Labor Omnia Voncit.” Work conquers all. What does that have to do with the sport? Sounds like a heavy-handed political statement. Second thing, the Sounders want their colors back.

  8. byob el paso tx says:

    OKC energy are wanna be sounders colors and even logo. So whats going to happen to the nasl okc team, who will rule okc.
    As for the worst names in MLS= earthquakes, dynamo, rapids, real salt lake, crew, revolution, chivas usa, fire, fc dallas but people love their team name???? so much history and bad names.
    For NASL and USLPro, they are lower divisions with no exposure, but for the newer teams, WTF with indyeleven, san antonio scorpions, ottawa fury, fc edmonton, and Minnesota united.
    How about DFW united, Chicago city red stars, san jose bay area unity, houston city aeros or apolllos, colorado red river fc, salt lake city, columbus pioneers, boston colony,la aztecs,

    • yankiboy says:

      Wow. You seem pretty confident about the NASL club coming out on top. Do you know something that the rest of us don’t?

      You might end up being right but it seems kinda early to be betting your mortgage payment on that.

      • el paso tx says:

        Just giving ideas for MLS team names :-) as for nasl and uslpro, they dont have a lot of exposure but they can work on their team names as well.

      • jspech says:

        as a fan of the NASL and most likely a support of team w/in, should one not be confident

    • Beto says:

      Bay Area Unity?, Colorado Red River?…lol how much for some of what your smoking?

      Oya hows those El Paso Patriots doing?

      • el paso tx says:

        I miss my el paso patriots, i was not a big fan of the name el paso patriots, but they are named after the patriot rocket weapon used in the military. Here in el paso tx, is home to one of the biggest military bases in usa.
        Also back then, our city council promised the city a new soccer.specific stadium but never came true and our el paso patriots were and are still forgotten but our day is comung sooner than later…….. There is a lot of open land for a sss in el paso tx and as a matter of fact, el paso patriots.had an average of 7 000 per game.

    • Ace Frehley says:

      “byob el paso tx” sounds like he’s had a few too many. Drink lotsa water, then have some coffee! It’ll help with the aimless rambling. :)

    • Bobb says:

      Congrats of consistently having the worst opinions ever. That’s really amazing for a non-troll. The earnestness with which you believe your nonsense opinions is amazing.

      MLS team names are just fine aside from Chivas USA.

      I like how Minnesota United is not an acceptable name, but DFW United would be… apparently the real twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul are not worthy but Dallas Fort Worth is. Get an education, bro.

    • Indy says:

      Indy Eleven is actually a reference to the 11th Indiana Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War, they were led by Colonel Lew Wallace.

      Its actually a pretty cool nickname once you think about it, its grown on all of us here in central Indiana.

  9. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Stupid name.

  10. Coco says:

    I don’t understand why some teams feel the need to force a name on the club like this. Let it organically happen. Oklahoma City FC is the club. Then let the fans decide over time what the nickname is.

    Other wise it just comes off as a product of focus group in-authenticity.

    • Beto says:

      Something lame like this will probably do just fine in Oklahoma… Best of luck OKC Energy!

    • Bobb says:

      Because the only time this has been done in MLS, the fans have come up with ridiculously lame and unoriginal nicknames like “the hoops” (FC Dallas) and “the reds” (Toronto FC).
      Branding is extremely important in sports, if I’m a soccer team owner spending my money to build a team, I’m not letting some joe sixpack fans control something so valuable.

  11. Ian says:

    Nice crest. Ridiculous name.

  12. Wonderloaf says:

    That is really dumb.

  13. Miki says:

    Oklahoma invented stealing things from Seattle.

  14. NE Revs says:

    Was really rooting for Flyers. It really goes well with long city names like Philadelphia. You blew it OKC.

  15. Spit Dismal says:

    Sounds WNBAish or what someone named Bob from Oklahoma would name a team.

  16. 1EyedJack says:

    I guess Tulsa Drillers was never seriously considered?

  17. Hincha Tim says:

    I still think one of the best names in any sport is The Thundering Herd., which would have fit the ok team.

  18. Good Jeremy says:

    In other USL PRO news, FC Tucson (lower division, finished square in the middle of their league standings) just beat Chivas USA’s B squad with a B squad of their own. I’m glad someone decided to keep CUSA company during the playoffs though.

  19. Dave says:

    I want to go to the promotion night when OKC gives free dates with models to the first 5,000 fans.