• Ryan Chapman

OKC Soars Behind Four Goal Thrashing of Memphis 901

The Oklahoma City Energy kicked off the second half of the season in style.

Taking advantage of an early blunder by Laurent Kissiedou which led to his sending off in the 24th minute, the Energy attacked relentlessly, peppering Memphis 901 FC’s goal with 10 shots on target en route to a 4-1 win on Saturday night at Taft Stadium.

But not only was it a much-needed offensive explosion, it was a statement of intent to the rest of the Central Division.

Under interim manager Leigh Veidman, the Energy have found a grit and toughness needed to persevere through a long season.

Saturday’s performance wasn’t perfect by any means, but Oklahoma City still found a way to put four balls in the back of the net while shorthanded.

Gone from the match day 18 were Jaime Chavez and Rob Coronado.

Frank Lopez started the game from the bench, as the Energy rolled out Villyan Bijev just like the start of the season. And the team has essentially been forced into a three at the back system since the injuries Coronado and Zach Ellis-Hayden.

But unlike the start of the season, where the squad also missed a recognizable center forward and Ellis-Hayden, the team showed bite.

Aiden Daniels’ first half brace, highlighted by an incredible looping effort which tucked inside the back post to open the scoring, ignited Taft Stadium. The OKC front three were clinical in front of goal, something which the team has struggled with all year long.

They didn’t have to rely on set pieces, or drawing the odd penalty.

OKC finished off four clear cut chances from open play, all while limiting the damage from Memphis to a few mostly contained chances.

It felt like the page had finally turned.

While the result still puts the Energy at seventh in the Central Division, OKC is just one point off of third place, and hosts Atlanta United 2 and the Indy XI in their next two outings. A pair of victories, while still not at full strength, over a pair of playoff rivals would see the Energy start to truly build toward a playoff push, one the club hasn’t seen for years.

Veidman has pulled the squad together in the wake of a woeful start, and is leading a team which can withstand a punch.

Finally, against Memphis, they proved they could deliver their fare share of punches too.

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