FRISCO, Texas (Monday, Jan. 11, 2016) – FC Dallas and Oklahoma City Energy FC have agreed to a two-year affiliation, the clubs announced today.
Oklahoma City head coach Jimmy Nielsen joined both FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo and head coach Oscar Pareja at the MLS Combine this week, and the trio is already working closely together. The agreement between the two clubs allows FC Dallas to send players on loan to the USL side. Those players can be recalled at any time, enabling FC Dallas to provide its expanding stable of Homegrown and developmental players with quality minutes in a well-respected division of professional soccer in North America.
“Every time you have the opportunity to surround yourself with good people and a good franchise, it’s always a plus,” FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said. “We were looking at opportunities early on in the year to keep doing better. Finding the partnership with Oklahoma City Energy FC was a big plus for us. Being able to drive is a plus. (They are) only three hours away. But I also saw the quality of the individuals. The quality of the franchise helped us make the decision.”
The two sides will meet at Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City on Saturday, Feb. 27, for a preseason friendly match. The match is set to kick off at 7 p.m., and tickets are available for purchase at energyfc.com or by calling 405-235-KICK.
With 14 Homegrown players signed to the professional roster to date, FC Dallas is at the forefront of player development in Major League Soccer. For the past two seasons, the Dallas side has led MLS in Homegrown minutes played and in 2015 started a league-record five Homegrown players in a 3-0 route over Columbus.
“We are pleased to affiliate with FC Dallas,” said Energy FC co-owner Bob Funk Jr. “As a founding member of MLS, FC Dallas has proven to be innovative in their approach to business and to growing the sport of soccer under a single banner in their community. In addition to learning from their business department, our on-field product can improve with the quality players that FC Dallas will offer to our organization.”
The 2015 season marked one of the best in franchise history for the Dallas side, which fell to eventual MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers FC in the Western Conference finals. Following the regular season FC Dallas tied with New York Red Bulls for the best record in all of Major League Soccer at 18-10-6 (60 points) and established itself as one of the most exciting young teams in the league. Fabian Castillo and Acosta earned accolades as the best in MLS under the age of 24, while Castillo and captain Matt Hedges both picked up Best XI nods following the season. Hedges and head coach Oscar Pareja were named finalists for Defender and Coach of the Year, respectively.
Limited tickets for the 2016 season opener versus Philadelphia, presented by AdvoCare, are available now starting at $26. For more information, visit FCDallas.com, or call 888.FCD.GOAL (323.4625). Season ticket packages, including the home opener, July 4 and multiple marquee matchups, are also available starting at less than $16 per match. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fcdallas.com/memberships.