By Chuck Reherman
The Oklahoma City Energy will look to pick up three points tonight as the Greens go on the road for the second straight match.
The Energy will face Sporting KC II at 7 p.m. at Swope Park in Kansas City.
The Energy (1-4-3, 6 points, 4th place in Group D) will face a Sporting KC II (2-5-1, 7 points, 4th place in Group E) as both teams look to turn their seasons around.
The Energy enter the match after being handed a 4-0 loss at San Antonio on Wednesday night. A depleted Greens team had no answer for the Group D leader who have beaten the Energy twice in two weeks by a combined 7-0 score.
Just a little over a week after being handled by San Antonio, the Oklahoma City Energy made a trek south looking to “return the favor.”
It didn’t go quite the way that the Greens were hoping.
San Antonio scored in the third minute of the match and put three goals in the net in the first half in posting a 4-0 win at Toyota Field.
The Greens did go into the match without head coach John Pascarella and assistant coach Leigh Veidman. Pascarella tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday and since he lives with Veidman, both will be self-isolated and missed the match. Goalkeepers coach Alexis Vizarelis managed the squad and will until one or both of the other coaches are cleared to return.
San Antonio, who led 2-0 in the first half of the first meeting, took control early on, scoring in the third minute when Jose Gallegos put Cristian Parano in alone on goal, and despite CJ Cochran coming off his line to make a great save, the rebound fell kindly to Luis Solignac for the empty-net goal.
The Greens had an opportunity to level the score in the 10th minute when Jaime Chavez found himself with only SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone to beat. Chavez’s shot from the top of the box was struck well, but it smacked off the base of the left post and away to safety.
Just four minutes later, Rafael Garcia was judged to have intentionally handled the ball in the penalty area. Victor Giro was able to convert from the penalty spot into the lower left corner, just out of the reach of Cochran.
The hosts extended the lead in the 43rd minute when Parano’s free kick from near the end line was fizzed across the goal, missing everyone except the head of Mitchell Taintor, who was able to guide the ball into the back of the net.
San Antonio scored the fourth and final goal in the 67th minute, after Gallegos weaved his way into the box and squared his pass to Gonzalo Di Renzo for the tap-in.
Energy FC remains on six points and in fourth place in Group D. SAFC is first with 18 points.
The next chance to see the team live at Taft Stadium will be on Sunday, August 30 at 5 p.m.