In 2014 Tulsa Athletic hosted a pre-season tournament called the Red River Cup. It featured two teams from Texas and two teams from Oklahoma. On January 19th, the cup returns!
The first iteration saw Tulsa Athletic square off with Ft. Worth Vaqueros in one semi final and OKC FC take on Liverpool Warriors in the other. After Liverpool were vanquished by OKC FC, Tulsa came from behind to win 2-1 through a dramatic 80th minute Juan Perralta header. The final was an exciting affair with OKC FC taking a 2-0 lead through two spectacular goals. Ray Saari (now with Sacramento Republic FC) halved the lead when his delicate chip in the 58th minute. Fifteen minutes later, club legend Dave Leung's powerful header from a corner kick knotted the game at 2-2. The game went directly to penalty kicks and after twelve consecutive successful penalties, OKC FC skyed a shot over the bar. Stephen Brocks stepped up and slotted how the winner to give Tulsa its second ever piece of hardware (2013 South Central conference champions trophy was the first). It was also significant in that Tulsa had lost in penalties the prior year to both Chattanooga FC in the regional semifinal and to Club America in a friendly.
"It will be fun to bring the Red River Cup back this winter. It was initially just going to be a friendly with Deportivo Alacranes from Ft. Worth, then we figured if they're travelling up, it might as well be for a cup, and if it's going to be for a cup, we should just bring the Red River Cup back" said Tulsa Athletic owner Sonny Dalesandro
"The first one was a great experience and was followed by one of the most memorable seasons in our club's history. We're looking forward to TA20 taking a crack!"
The opponents, Deportivo Alacranes, are out of Ft. Worth and compete in the UPSL Central Conference-North-Division III. They have been together for 12 years and have hoisted trophies in Houston, Autstin, and San Antonio, as well as winning the FC Adidas Cup and Puma Cup. They presently sit in second place in their division boasting a solid 6-1-1 record.
The match between Tulsa Athletic U20 and Deportivo Alacranes takes place on January 19th at the Union Soccer Complex Championship field at 2:00 pm. Come on out and warm up with some cup fever!
2014 Red River Cup Highlights: