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Match Preview: #OKCvTBR

By Rowdies Communications, 05/28/19, 10:00AM EDT


The Basics
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Third Round)
OKC Energy FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tuesday, May 28, 8:30 p.m. ET
John Crain Field, Norman, Oklahoma.
Follow us for limited live updates on Twitter @RowdiesGameday

How to Watch
The match will be broadcast on ESPN+ here.

About the Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been played since 1914 and is the longest continuously-running soccer competition in the United States. It is a single-elimination tournament open to professional teams and qualifying amateur teams based in the United States. Major League Soccer teams enter the competition in the Fourth Round.

The Rowdies defeated The Villages SC (USL League Two) 4-1 in the Second Round on May 14 to reach this match. OKC Energy FC (USL Championship) advanced to tonight's match with a 3-1 extra time victory over NTX Rayados (North Texas Premier Soccer League).

Fourth Round pairings will be announced Thursday.

Tuesday’s match must produce a winner, so if the score is tied after regulation, two 15-minute extra time periods will be played in their entirety. If the score remains tied, a penalty kick shootout will decide the winner.

Tampa Bay: 7-0-5 (W-L-T), 26 points, 1st place, Eastern Conference
OKC Energy FC: 5-4-3 (W-L-T), 18 points, 5th place, Western Conference

Rowdies Notes
The Tampa Bay Rowdies head to Oklahoma on a club record 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions. The Rowdies have won their last four matches overall by a combined score of 8-1 including a 1-0 victory over the Swope Park Rangers on Saturday night.

The Rowdies advanced to this match with a 4-1 home win over The Villages SC (USL League Two) in the Second Round on May 14. Mohamed Kone, Zach Steinberger, Brandon Allen and Leon Taylor all scored in that match, so they’re all in a four-way tie for the scoring lead in Open Cup play.

Tampa Bay is 7-8 all-time in Open Cup play after this year’s Second Round victory. The Rowdies are 3-7 away from home in Open Cup play all-time and have not won an away match in this competition since a 2-1 win at VSI Tampa Bay FC in 2013. Since then, the Rowdies have suffered road eliminations at the hands of the Portland Timbers (MLS), Orlando City SC (USL), Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL), Columbus Crew SC (MLS), Miami FC (NASL) and Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL).

The Rowdies have only played one match in Oklahoma before, a 1-0 loss to Rayo OKC on July 27, 2016.

At least two Rowdies will be fresh for tonight’s match as midfielder Dom Oduro and defender Pape Diakite served one-game suspensions Saturday night. Both have been key contributors defensively this season.

Rowdies forward Malik Johnson made his Rowdies debut in  Saturday night’s win after recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in preseason. He played 11 minutes off the bench. Johnson, 21 years old, is the latest player aged 22 or younger to appear for the Rowdies this season. Caleb Richards (20), Juan Tejada (22) and Jordan Doherty (18) have all played significant minutes this season. Two teenaged Rowdies academy products, Robbie Soronellas and Jack Casey, appeared off the bench in the Second Round of the Open Cup.

Injury Report
OUT: F Jaime Siaj (quad strain)
OUT: D Shawn Barry (ribs)
OUT: M Yann Ekra (ankle)