OKLAHOMA CITY- Energy fans have waited 366 days to witness a win at Taft Stadium, and they will have to wait at least three more weeks. There was one consolation in this game as the Oklahoma City Energy scored their first goal since July 22nd. Despite playing a man down for over half an hour, the Energy contained Austin Bold FC to a 1-1 draw.
Here are the match ratings for tonight’s game:
CJ Cochran (GK): 5
CJ Cochran had a fairly quiet night besides letting a goal zoom by. Even though this was caused by the defense not stepping to the offensive threat, Cochran seemed surprised to see the ball fly into the net. He made up for this though with a great block on the brink of halftime to keep the game level.
Joe Amico (D): 5
Although Joe Amico was effective offensively when going forward to create opportunities, his marking on defense was inconsistent. Fifty minutes in Amico left an Austin Bold forward wide open. This could have resulted in another goal if not for Cochran’s perfectly timed block.
Nicolas Taravel (D): 6
Nicolas Taravel did well in controlling the defensive pulse. He prevented a fast break from Austin Bold FC but that cost Taravel a yellow card in minute 27.
Attiba Harris (D): 6
Attiba Harris held the defensive line effectively. He did not have many chances to shine and also did not make any major mistakes.
Zach Ellis-Hayden (D): 8
Zach Ellis-Hayden thrives on the outside. He knows when to take his space and move the ball forward. He created many offensive opportunities for the Energy tonight. Ellis-Hayden was responsible for the beautiful cross to Jaime Chavez who finally finishes with a header.
Jon Brown (MF): 6
Jon Brown sufficiently distributed the ball to his teammates. Brown kept busy tracking back on defense as well as aiding the offensive attack. As a great role player and the things he does well does not always show up on the stat sheet.
Jose Hernandez (MF): 7
Jose Hernandez constantly kept pressure high on Austin Bold FC. Hernandez kept the ball moving on offense and won the ball back quickly on defense.
Rafa Garcia (MF): 4
Despite Rafa Garcia placing multiple direct balls accurately, he received two yellow cards in this match. Though the sending off was incredibly harsh and a questionable decision, he did leave his teammates to play a man down for 40 minutes.
Cordell Cato (MF): 6
Cordell Cato did a fantastic job of making chances happen out wide. He also got a good shot opportunity but it was blocked by the goalie. This was a solid return back to the pitch for Cato.
Arun Basuljevic (F): 7
Even though Arun Basuljevic was not the one who ended the scoring drought, he created multiple chances for the Energy. He remained active in the attacking third all night. By Basuljevic repeatedly badgering the defense, Austin Bold’s defensive line became spread too thin.
The space created by Basuljevic allowed for other attackers to take advantage.
Jaime Chavez (F): 8
Right from the start it was clear that Jaime Chavez was hungry to score. Chavez was getting on the end of attacks yet could not seem to finish.
At times, prime offensive opportunities for goals were wasted due to his poor decision making. Too often, Chavez killed a break to play a ball backwards instead of running at the defense to beat his man.
But he made up for this by ending the OKC Energy’s scoring drought. Chavez finished a perfectly accurate cross by Ellis-Hayden with a header to give the Energy their first goal in (whatever many days).
Charlie Ward (MF): 6
Charlie Ward came on to stabilize the midfield once Garcia was sent off. The Energy enjoyed the greater share of attacking threats despite playing a man down, proving Ward’s worth.
Not Rated: Omar Gordon, Kyle Hyland