Under New Leadership, the Energy Look to Kickstart Their Season
A new era kicks off today for the Oklahoma City Energy.
Head coach John Pascarella was dismissed, and assistant Leigh Veidman was elevated to replace him on an interim basis.
Veidman will look to turn OKC’s fortunes around, as they sit in last place in the central division, only earning four points from their first seven matches.
Despite the coaching change, Veidman said morale amongst the team was good, as they’re coming off perhaps their best 45 minutes of the season in the second half against the Indy Eleven.
“The last 45 minutes in the Indy game is what we’ve been working toward,” Veidman said. “We’ve got to give John a lot of credit for that because that’s what he’s been pushing the team to do over the last 18 months.
“(The squad’s) morale has been excellent. It’s been an excellent training week.”
Moving forward, defender Rob Coronado said the team needs to hone in on getting off to better starts.
“We need to be a little bit more aggressive getting that first goal,” he said. “Once we get that first goal our momentum will just stay high.”
Coronado, who was named to the USL Team of the Week for his performance against the Indy Eleven, also said the team will have to stay disciplined in their shape on Saturday as they host the Birmingham Legion.
“(We must focus on) the way we press the way we're gonna set up defensively and catch them on the counter,” he said. “Just play our game and things will hopefully turn our way.”
Conceding nine goals in five outings, Veidman said there won’t be a major tactical overhaul, but there will be tweaks to help provide balance to the team.
“We need stability. I think that's very important, I think it would be very wrong of me to come in and start making wholesale changes,” Veidman said. “Some small changes have been made, and hopefully we'll see if that pays off for the weekend.”
The Energy will host Birmingham on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Taft Stadium, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.