With Sporting KC on the road in Montreal, and needing to get the heck out of Dodge for 24 hours, I decided to make a quick trip down to Oklahoma City and take in an Energy FC game.
I also wanted to see Jimmy Nielsen again. I hadn't seen him since the day he retired back in December.
If there's one thing that hasn't changed about The White Puma, it's definitely his passion for the game. There were a few questionable "no calls" in the first half and I could see Jimmy's face flushing red when he was screaming at the officials.
One thing I saw him do, though, that you'd never see Peter Vermes do, was put his arm around the fourth official with a smile on his face. If Peter ever put his hands on an official, you could be sure the words coming out of his mouth would be in Hungarian.
In his first game for the club, midfielder Jimmy Medranda made the start and played about 55 minutes. He was very good on the ball and seemed to be very creative. He also showed the high work rate that I'd seen from him while he was with Sporting KC. From what I've been told, he's come down here with a good attitude and wants to show Jimmy Nielsen and, by extension, Peter Vermes what he can do.
Adda Djeziri, formerly of League Two's Scunthorpe United, had a very good game as well. He assisted on both of OKC's goals.
Djeziri's inch perfect corner kick found the head of former Sporting KC midfielder Michael Thomas on the back post in the fifth minute.
Djeziri's second assist came on a good pass in the penalty area to Dan Delgado, who faked out the keeper and put it in the empty net.
Despite the slow start, OKC's seven match unbeaten streak (4-0-3) has now elevated the club to a tie for sixth place in USL Pro with Orange County Blues FC.
3,619 fans showed up to watch the match and I heard some familiar chants from the supporters section, including "Wings of a Sparrow" and "Who's Your Daddy?" I suppose it's appropriate, considering the club's affiliation with Sporting KC.
The only truly "minor league" thing about the game was the "trash can pong" game that was played at halftime. It went on way too long and had my two compatriots in the press box asking for the return of "bubble soccer."
Other than that, it was a truly enjoyable evening watching the game that I love.
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