USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Saturday, February 6, 2016
OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC and the Oklahoma Soccer Association announced a groundbreaking partnership between the two organizations on Saturday at the OSA’a Annual Meeting.
The new partnership will help steer the OSA’s initiatives on coaching education, player development and community growth at all levels, as Energy FC increases its leadership in the state’s soccer landscape.
“[The free coaching education partnership between Energy FC and OSA has] been outstanding”, said OSA Executive Director Sid Goodrich. “We’ve had clubs from all over Oklahoma take advantage of it. It’s helped raise awareness of the Energy and also the education level of our coaches.”
- RELATED: Thomas Comfortable as Energy FC Kicks Off
Following analysis of the partnership between the two organizations over the past two years, it became clear an expansion of the relationship would be in the best interests of soccer across the state.
“There’s always limited resources in youth sports. So we want to find ways to impact where maybe we feel like there may be some gaps or holes,” Energy FC General Manager Jason Hawkins said. “Coaching education has always been big for us…we want to really focus around player development, and some of those players that are up at the elite level, we want to make sure they’re getting the opportunities they deserve.”
- RELATED: The USL Q&A: Bob Funk Jr., OKC Energy FC
“This dynamic partnership between OKC Energy and the Oklahoma Soccer Association will receive the full support from the league office and our technical department,” said USL Academy Executive Director Gordon Bengtson. “We look forward to seeing the immediate and long-term impact this relationship will have on the growth of the game in Oklahoma.”
OKC Energy FC is preparing for its third season in the USL this spring, after having reached the Western Conference Final in the 2015 USL Playoffs. Hawkins said he hoped the expanded partnership between the club and OSA would see local talent that become part of Energy FC’s senior side in years to come.
“When you look at it, you’re really talking about the base of the pyramid. Obviously, the pro team sits up at the top, but the better you’re doing down at the base, the better the foundation is going to be,” Hawkins said. “There’s no club out there that doesn’t want to look up one day and be able to say ‘yeah that kid came all the way through, we developed him, we turned him into what we wanted him to be for the future of the program.’”