By Ryan Chapman, Sports Editor
Energy FC erased a three-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw against Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field Saturday night.
Alexy Bosetti completely changed the game for OKC.
With the absence of goal scorer Deshorn Brown and Alexy Bosetti in the starting lineup, Oklahoma City’s attack was lackluster and toothless for the first hour in Reno. From his introduction on, the Energy looked a completely different team. Bosetti landed himself on the score sheet in the 72nd minute, but he also played the balls to open the Reno defense directly leading to both of the goals in stoppage time. With Bosetti pulling the strings, Oklahoma City began to weave more passes together and were able to finally find the final ball in the attacking third to break through and claw their way back into the game.
The Energy are still trying to get on the same page on the back line.
On Saturday, Oklahoma City fielded their third different starting defensive lineup in four matches. Christian Ibeagha was inserted alongside Atiba Harris; replacing Nicolas Taravel who suffered a torn ACL in OKC’s last outing in Sacramento. The Energy haven’t looked cohesive at the back yet, especially since Taravel went down. Oklahoma City has conceded six goals in the 160 minutes of play without Taravel after only allowing three goals in the 200 minutes with him on the field. While the Energy have plenty of time this season to settle in as a unit at the back, they hope new signing Mike da Fonte will be able to stabilize the defense in Taravel’s absence.
Oklahoma City’s midfield is still seeking balance.
While the Energy defense has struggled, they did not receive much help from the midfield Saturday night. On each of Reno’s first two goals, the Reno attackers had plenty of time to line up their shots as they ran free at the box without any Energy midfielder stepping in to challenge them. Even with the introduction of Bosetti, Reno had plenty of chances to kill the game off if not for the heroics of Cody Laurendi. Oklahoma City will need to find the right balance of attacking play and defensive cover from their midfield if they wish to seriously challenge for silverware on the business end of the season.