Sockers Can't Hold Lead, Fall to Oklahoma City

Sockers Can’t Hold Lead, Fall to Oklahoma City
MIDLAND, TX—Despite an early lead, Sockers FC (0-3-1, 1 point) could not maintain their momentum, as Oklahoma City FC (3-1-0, 9 points) rallied for a 3-1 victory Saturday night at Grande Communications Stadium.
After Sockers forward Juan Nava set up Len Smith’s header to give the Sockers a 1-0 lead just 23 minutes after kick-off, Oklahoma City scored three unanswered goals between the 42nd and 66th minutes.
“This was a match that we really wanted to take points from,” Sockers assistant general manager Jeff VonHolle said.  “After Smith’s goal, we just could not find another good offensive opportunity.”
Much of the pre-game hype centered on Oklahoma City forward Adam Black, who entered the match as the league leader in goals and points.  The Sockers were able to limit Black to just one shot on goal, and he was ejected in the 84th minute following his second yellow card of the match.
Defenseman Scott Parkinson, assisted by midfielder Niall Crick, tied the match in the 42nd minute for Oklahoma City, and his goal was immediately followed by the eventual game-winner from forward Nicolas Alberto.  Alberto also assisted on Oklahoma City’s third goal, scored by midfielder Stephen Owusu in the 66th minute.
For the match, the Sockers utilized a 4-4-2 scheme but could not establish a consistent offensive pressure.  Oklahoma City edged the team in shots (11-5) and corner kicks (8-3). 
The match featured six yellow cards (three per team), not including Black’s second (which defaulted to a red card). 
After a whirlwind week that featured three matches in five days, the Sockers rest this week until the El Paso Patriots (1-2-1, 4 points) return to town on June 1.  This will be the second match between the two teams, as they opened the Premier Development League season on May 11 with a 2-2 tie in Midland.  Following the June 1 game, the Sockers play three consecutive road matches, not returning home until June 27.

This Saturday will feature the annual RockHounds-Sockers doubleheader, with the teams playing simultaneously at Grande Communications Stadium and Citibank Ballpark.  Following the conclusion of both games, all fans will be treated to a fireworks show. 

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