I hadn’t planned on attending a match at Taft Stadium to watch OKC Energy FC, but I’m glad I did! It just so happened there was a midweek match the day I decided to make a spontaneous drive down from Kansas City. (Thanks to Jake Thurman on Twitter for the heads up!)

For a team playing in a high school stadium, Energy FC provided one of the most visually-appealing setups I’ve seen on the tour. Some “minor league” matches feel very minor league. But my experience at Taft Stadium felt otherwise.

The venue was dressed up and branded well with club colors and signage, in particular the main grandstand, where white seats spelled “OKC” against the green ones.

And, despite the track, the proximity to the pitch felt much closer than it was in reality.

I spent time floating around the stadium to take in the match from a number of different places, though my favorite spot was next to Furia Verde, whose drumming and chanting created a fun atmosphere with a distinct Latin rhythm.

Energy FC have struggled on the pitch this season, so it came as a bit of a surprise to witness a 3-2 win against the much-discussed Phoenix Rising FC. (No, Didier Drogba didn’t play. Nor did Omar Bravo or Shawn Wright-Phillips.)

Defender Kyle Hyland treated those in attendance to this beauty.

Thanks to Adam for reaching out, (and Jake who put the game on my radar!)

And it’s always a good time to see my friends from Strikers days.

Especially when they’re a club icon.