YUKON Rayo OKC opens its inaugural North American Soccer League season on Saturday against FC Edmonton. and at Miller Stadium.
Lots of questions surround the expansion team. The most important question is what is Rayo OKC?
Rayo OKC gets its name from Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, a Spanish club, and the majority owner. Sean Jones of Mustang is the minority owner, and Brad Lund and DeBray Ayala of Sold Out Strategies are the club’s operating managers.
Jones, Lund and Ayala have been working since 2011 to get an NASL team in Oklahoma City. Multiple stumbling blocks arose.wholesale nfl jerseys from china http://www.cheapnfljerseysonlined.top The NASL commissioner even said on a radio show last summer that the league had moved on without Oklahoma. However, the investment from Rayo Vallecano last fall brought OKC back into the picture.
“I feel sick to my stomach, I don’t know if it’s nerves or excitement,” Jones said about Saturday’s game. “Since November, it’s been a whirlwind. I haven’t had any time to think about it. I am proud to present my city to the world.”
For Rayo OKC, the name, the jerseys, and the playing style, according new coach Alen Marcina, are identical to Rayo Vallecano. The team is not. Only one player on Rayo OKC’s roster belongs to its parent club, midfielder Javier Monsalvez, who goes by Yuma.
Marcina has reached far and wide for his own players, and the results have been good. and Georgios Samaras, an international superstar for Greece.
“Brad, DeBray, and myself didn’t have that much to do with that,” Jones said. “One hundred percent of the credit goes Alen Marcina. He jumped in with both feet and immediately began working his connections. I also think our relationship with Rayo Vallecano attracted a lot of talent.”
The next question is what is the NASL?
Most fans know about Major League Soccer, and Oklahoma City Energy FC plays in the United Soccer League. and Canada. Soccer Federation acknowledges it as the second highest level of soccer, however, first, second or third division soccer is irrelevant here because there is no promotion or relegation.
In leagues all over the world, the top three teams in each league are promoted to the next highest league each year, the bottom three teams relegated. That does not happen here. That leaves calling the NASL second division soccer subjective to the level of play on the field.
The NASL has 11 teams that compete in a spring season and a fall season. Oklahoma City and Miami are expansion clubs, Puerto Rico FC will become the 12th team when it joins the league in the fall.
The winner of both the spring season and the fall season will automatically qualify for the playoffs with two wild card teams joining in the postseason, a single elimination four team playoff. If one team wins both the spring and fall seasons, three wild card teams get in the playoffs. The wild card teams are decided by combined spring/fall season records.
“This league is growing by leaps and bounds,” Jones said. “It’s really exciting to see where we are right now. I don’t think there is an owner in the league, and we certainly don’t here, that thinks because we are second division we should put out a second rate product.