Photo courtesy Lori Scholl / Tulsa Roughnecks FC
TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Roughnecks FC gave Head Coach Dave Vaudreuil a victory in his first game at the club as it took a 4-1 win against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday night at ONEOK Field. The game was even early on, but the Switchbacks took the lead in the 17th minute when Guam international Shane Malcolm scored on a low shot that caromed in off the left post. The Roughnecks hit back seven minutes later, though, as new captain Juan Caffa curled a delightful free kick from 25 yards just inside the left post to make it 1-1. Tulsa then capitalized on a defensive giveaway to take the lead in the 32nd minute as Joey Calistri set up Ian Svantesson for a simple, close-range finish. Svantesson got his second simple finish of the night seven minutes into the second half when Switchbacks goalkeeper Justin Luthy fanned on a clearance on a long through-ball, leaving an open net for the striker. The Roughnecks wrapped up the win with 12 minutes to go when Francisco Ugarte got on the end of a free kick by Caffa to finish, and send the Roustabouts home happy.
17’ – COS – Shane Malcolm (Kevaughn Frater)
24’ – TUL – Juan Caffa
32’ – TUL – Ian Svantesson (Joey Calistri)
52’ – TUL – Ian Svantesson
78’ – TUL – Francisco Ugarte (Juan Caffa)
Three Things That Matter:
1. After a tough 2016 season, the Roughnecks wanted to get the David Vaudreuil off to a good start, and the club’s first four-goal performance since a 5-1 win against Real Monarchs SLC toward the end of the 2015 USL season gave them exactly that. At the center of the performance was a fine display by Argentinian playmaker Juan Caffa, who scored a great free kick and then provided a perfect delivery for Francisco Ugarte to cap the scoring.
2. By contrast, the Switchbacks looked a very different side from the one that finished in the top three of the Western Conference a season ago, with defensive disasters giving the Roughnecks chances they would have struggled to miss. With three of the team’s back four returning from a season ago, the defensive frailty was a surprise after Shane Malcolm had given the club the lead on his debut, and will need to be addressed with OKC Energy FC visiting next weekend.
3. For the Roughnecks’ die-hard fans, the victory was a chance to believe the optimism of the preseason – when the club went undefeated – was not a mirage. The side held advantages in possession and passing accuracy against the Switchbacks, and the visible excitement generated by Ian Svantesson and Francisco Ugarte’s goals should carry forward to a big test next Saturday night when Rio Grande Valley FC visits ONEOK Field.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Juan Caffa, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – The Argentinian playmaker and captain made a memorable debut to lead his side to victory, with his goal to level the score a key moment in a big win for the Roughnecks.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – April 1, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. OKC Energy FC – April 1, 8 p.m. ET, Weidner Field