Springtime usually means a time of new beginnings, and as such, two sports seasons have sprung anew in the past week. The Tulsa Roughnecks FC are now two games into the 2017 USL season, and the Tulsa Drillers have opened Texas League play.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC have played two home games thus far on the young season, winning the home opener on March 25, 4-1, over Colorado Springs. This past Saturday, it was a lone goal by Joey Calistri that won the game for Tulsa, 1-0, over Rio Grande Valley.
Just as the first half ended, rain began to fall, and five minutes into the second half it began to pour.
Brian Wright, on loan from the New England Revolution just for this game, came into the match in the 60th minute, giving the local fans a glimpse of MLS talent.
In the 63rd minute, a caution was issued to Jorge Corrales of the Roughnecks. Then in the 69th minute, Tulsa’s Kosuke Kimura was carded for delay of game.
Tulsa goalkeeper Bryan Byars stopped all eight shots on goal he faced.
The Roughnecks will host Sacramento Republic FC, this Saturday at 7 p.m. at ONEOK Field. Sacramento (2-0) is tied with Tulsa in first place in the USL Western Conference.
DRILLERS OPEN SEASON
The Tulsa Drillers open the Texas League regular season on the road in Midland Thursday, and will play three games against the Rockhounds before moving on to play a three-game series in Frisco.
After a week on the road, the Drillers will play their home opener April 13, hosting Midland for three games and then Frisco will come to town for a three-game set.
The Drillers begin their third season as a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate, and will be under the guidance of second-year manager Ryan Garko, and his returning staff of coaches. Garko spoke to the media recently and said that the familiarity of his coaching staff with one another and the league will make this year go more smoothly.
“The four of us working together, getting to know one another last year, and then getting to know the Texas League helps with planning the day and making our players aware of the league, especially when we travel to other cities,” Garko said. “All that will come in our sleep now, having gone through it all last year.”
Garko said the return of several players from last year’s roster will also add to their familiarity of the organization this season.
“We’re going to have a lot of returning players from last year’s team, that we already have relationships with,” Garko said. “My goal is to get off to a good start with some of that continuity; I only think it’s going to help.”
The Drillers promotions schedule will feature 18 post-game fireworks shows, which will include every Friday home game, and many other nights. There will be many promotions throughout the season, but on opening night, the first 5,000 fans will receive a Drillers rally towel, and on April 15, the first 1,500 fans will get a Drillers quarter-zip pullover jersey.
ONE SEASON ENDING
The Tulsa Oilers returned home last Friday night, following a nine-game road swing, and there to greet them at the BOK Center was a record-setting sellout crowd of 16,753. However, the huge crowd was disappointed as the Oilers lost 4-1 to Wichita. It was the second highest attended game in ECHL history.
The Oilers will wrap up the ECHL regular season this weekend with a pair of games at the BOK Center. Tulsa hosts Allen on Friday night and Wichita on Saturday. Both games will begin at 7:05 p.m.
This will be the second consecutive season the Oilers have not qualified for the ECHL playoffs.