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OKC looks to build momentum on homestand

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Oklahoma City's Callum Ross, right, battles Orange County's Harry Forrester in a match last month. Ross and Energy FC host Real Monarchs SLC Saturday night at Taft Stadium. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN]
Oklahoma City's Callum Ross, right, battles Orange County's Harry Forrester in a match last month. Ross and Energy FC host Real Monarchs SLC Saturday night at Taft Stadium. [NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN]

Buoyed by a win the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, Energy FC begins a three-match homestand on Saturday in Taft Stadium.

The first opponent will be Real Monarchs SLC, which sits 15th in the USL Championship Western Conference but trails eighth-place Energy FC by just three points in the tightly bunched standings.

“We watched film, and they are a good team,” Energy FC midfielder Alexy Bosetti said. “They have some good players, especially the goalkeeper, but we just need to make sure we win at home and get the most out of the next three games.”

After a disappointing loss in league play on the road last Saturday in Austin, Energy FC bounced back in the U.S. Open Cup in Norman three days later to defeat NTX Rayados 3-1.

Energy FC played mostly reserves in the match, which featured the professional debuts of Josh Garcia, Kal Okot and Amer Sasivarevic.

“It was good result because the Cup is important for the group, for the team and for our fans,” Bosetti said. “Especially after the loss in Austin when we should have won.”

Goals from Sasivarevic, Christian Eissele and Je-Vaughn Watson set up a third-round match in the U.S. Open Cup against another USL Championship club, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, on May 29 in Norman at John Crain Field. The Rowdies are tied for first place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference and the only unbeaten club in the league.

But first up will be Real Monarchs SLC for a 7:30 p.m. match Saturday in Taft Stadium.

“Real Monarchs are a good team with some really good players, and over the last three years, they’ve been one of the better and more consistent teams in all of USL,” Energy FC coach Steve Cooke said. “I think they are really well put together with some experienced players alongside some really talented young players. For me, they are one of the better teams I’ve watched this season.”

With the next three matches at home, Energy FC has a chance to build some momentum and move up in the USL Championship Western Conference standings. Energy FC is only four points behind the Western Conference leader, the Portland Timbers.

“It’s vitally important to do well,” Energy FC midfielder Callum Ross said of the current three-game homestand. “Especially during this stretch, because we have a couple of away games right after. We’re looking to pick up nine points if we can and attack them with everything we’ve got.”

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ENERGY FC VS. REAL MONARCHS SLC

When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Where: Taft Stadium

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