Jesse Easdon is the co-host, along with his brother, of the infamous Tulsa Soccer Show podcast, which started over three years ago. Jesse opens up with Indomitable City Soccer about this weekend’s match-up, and news regarding the Tulsa Roughnecks. You can listen to the Tulsa Soccer Show on almost any podcast app, or visit the website at www.tulsaroustabouts.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JesseEasdon.
ICS: Former Roughneck Sammy Ochoa is returning to Tulsa to face his old club. How will the Roughnecks counter his attack?
One of the biggest headlines for this weekend’s game has to be the return of Sammy Ochoa to Tulsa, a player who had an odd love/hate relationship with the TRFC fans. Sammy has scored the most goals of any player for the Roughnecks, but at times fans criticized him for the effort they saw on the field.
Moving to Sacramento appears to have been a great move for Sammy as he has already scored three goals in two games. The Roughnecks will have to keep a close eye on him and make sure he always has a mark on him. You will most likely see Francisco Ugarte and Modou Jadama switching off and on of man coverage on Sammy. I would also not be surprised to see it get physical when the ball gets anywhere near Sammy.
The Roughnecks finished at the bottom of the Western Conference table last season and now look like a completely different team. What do you think contributes to the turnaround?
Yes, last year was probably one of the worst seasons you could imagine for the Roughnecks, but it seems that the owners have come back with a strong statement for this year. That statement is simple. It's "We want to be in the playoffs." To achieve that, the team knew they needed to spend a little more money than the previous years. They started off with a new head coach in David Vaudreuil. Then with a new coach they went after all new players.
In the past, the slogan when talking about player scouting, was "We want to find diamonds in the rough." The team seems to have forsaken the slogan and gone after players that are proven and know that they can compete at this level. So this year I would say the slogan is more "We want a diamond that you would give to someone right before going to Las Vegas to get hitched." It might not be the best in the store but you know its going to get the job done and, well, it’s probably the most you can afford.
Do you feel that the punishment handed down last week by the league for an ineligible player in the Roughnecks’ match against Colorado Springs was fair? Will this affect the team for today's match?
And now for the question that everyone seems to be asking me this week. (Even my mother gave me a call asking about this.) Was the forfeit against Colorado Springs a fair punishment for the Roughnecks? To be completely honest, I am going to have to say yes. I might not agree with it but it is very clear in the FIFA rules that this was the correct punishment for the team.
The thing that bothers me the most is the lack of transparency from the league. Very little information was publicly given out and when I contacted the league office I was told "there won't be any further comment from the league office on this matter." Facts of the matter are that this happened and the team now has to move on and not focus on the forfeit. I can't see this event playing much of a role in how Tulsa plays against Sacramento. I do foresee the team having a little chip on their shoulder the next time they play Colorado Springs.
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