USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Friday, February 12, 2016
BRADENTON, Fla. – David Villa scored the only goal as OKC Energy FC fell 1-0 to New York City FC in its preseason opener on Friday afternoon at IMG Academy. Villa’s first-half goal proved the difference as Energy FC put in a solid overall performance against its MLS opponent.
NYCFC had the better of the early going, as Tommy McNamara in particular applied pressure from the midfield, but OKC’s defense did well and remained organized to limit its clear chances on goal. A defensive breakdown midway through the half provided an opening for the Spanish international, however, and he moved in on goal from the left and finished low past Cody Laurendi.
As the half went on, though, Energy FC came into the game, and came close to an equalizer when new signing Daniel Jackson got in behind the defense on the right, only for his low cross to just elude Danni Konig’s run into the penalty area.
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Both sides made numerous substitutions in the second half, as Energy FC Coach Jimmy Nielsen incorporated six new additions to his squad over the course of the contest. One of those was Laurendi, who had a stellar game in goal that was capped by a fine penalty save late on to deny Patrick Mullins from the spot and keep the score 1-0, but that would be the way the game ended as NYCFC took victory.Energy FC will face Danish side HB Koge in its next preseason contest on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT at IMG Academy as the side builds up to the new USL season.