By Chuck Reherman
Oklahoma City heads back to where the season began to try and get the season going back in the right direction.
The Greens will head to Colorado Springs to to face the Switchbacks in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Weidner Field.
The Energy lost to the Switchbacks in that opening match 2-1 in the season opener back on March 7, just three days before the season was put on hold. The teams have have 15 times in USL matches and each have won six times with three draws.
Energy coach John Pascarella knows his team will have a challenge playing in the higher altitude of Colorado Springs, but after last weeks performance he sees the team is starting to turn the corner.
“I’ve watched them quite a few times over the last few weeks,” Pascarella said. They had a great, exacting game against Austin right before Austin came here. They are an explosive team. They can score goals.
“At the same time, they concede sometimes,” he said. “It’s one of those games where I think we have to focus on ourselves and defending and making sure we’re solid there. If we do that, our chances are going to come.”
Greens’ forward Jonathon Brown also sees the team turning the corner and said a win in Colorado would help that along. He knows the team is in for a challenge.
“They are a good side and obviously got the win over us in the first game of the season. We’ve got to go there with confidence and to win the game. We’re running out of games now so we need to go there and take three points.”
The Energy picked up some defensive help this week, resigning defender Mike da Fonte. Da Fonte had 15 appearances in 2019 for OKC scoring one goal and averaging an 87.5 tackle success in league play.
“Mike is a guy I had my eye on when I signed here,” said Pascarella. “It was a bummer that he wasn’t here when I came on board because I thought he could do a job in this league. I checked in with a lot of people around the league, including my friend Paul Buckle, who coached him at Sacramento. Everybody talks about the fact that he’s a hard-worker and a grinder and he’ll do all those things, and we need more of that, especially when you’re fighting like we are. So, I think he’ll fit in perfectly.”
Da Fonte, 29, previously played for MLS’s Colorado Rapids, USL Championship’s Phoenix Rising FC, Sacramento Republic FC and New York Red Bulls II, and Portuguese clubs S.C. Espinho and Pedras Salgadas.
Da Fonte will wear the number 44 shirt.
His signing comes at a time where the Energy have struggled on defense and have battled injuries through the last several matches.
Colorado is the first of three road matches and the Greens will play their final home match on Sept. 27 with the Austin Bold.