This site is a tribute to the original major league franchise that played in the old North American Soccer League from 1978 to 1984. The club then reorganized in time for 1985, but not until the NASL itself completely collapsed. The original Tulsa Roughnecks then played a lame duck half season of exhibition games at the old Drillers Stadium on 15th and Yale the summer of 1985 before calling it quits for good...
There have been multiple attempts to revive the storied soccer franchise that gave Tulsa its only championship in any major league sport back in 1983 (that is, unless you count Pro Team Rodeo)... The Tulsa Roughnecks, a 'down-to-earth,https://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/10/03/The-Tulsa-Roughnecks-a-down-to-earth-honest-and-hard-working/4662434001600/
The most recent of these attempts was announced in late 2013, after Bob Funk Jr and Prodigal Sports of Oklahoma City paid for Tulsa's USL territorial rights as well as trademark rights to the Tulsa Roughnecks name at around the same time they secured USL rights to OKC Energy FC. They sold those rights to a previously disinterested Tulsa Drillers baseball organization. I know this because I'd worked, first with the USL, then with the new version of the NASL from around 2009 to late 2012 on trying to secure a franchise to play at the old Drillers Stadium, an empty baseball park with nearly 11,000 in seating capacity that could economically be converted to soccer...
To make a long story short, I wanted to be proved wrong. I'd hoped the previously disinterested minor league baseball team owners
would show the same kind of resolve and commitment to USL professional soccer in Tulsa as what we saw in places like Orlando and Cincinnati and still see in places like Sacramento, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Louisville and yes, even Oklahoma City.
After four years of futility, bouncing around from mediocre to horrible to making the playoffs for the first time with 14 wins, 14 losses, 4 ties followed by finishing dead last again at 3-19-12, the fanbase has been decimated. Decimated to the point where, even if the team finishes top of the table for 2019, the damage has already been done. A once proud and iconic NASL brand has once again been dragged through the mud, with a new owner and GM trying to pick up the pieces this season.
Later this summer, I would like to offer that new owner and GM a list of demands for possible constructive solutions to revive a once-iconic major league brand that has literally been dragged through the mud over the past 4 years.
Unless some very major changes are made (dare I use the word "drastic"), the USL Championship Tulsa Roughnecks FC need to change their name and rebrand as the Fortuna Tulsa men...
Questions? Comments? Direct them to USRufnex@TulsaRoughnecks.com and I will both answer them and post selected ones below.
4-8-2019: Why is this site not affiliated with Tulsa Roughnecks FC of USL Championship?
4/8/2019 -- Flashback from RoughnecksFC.com
***At the close of a futile 2016 season, a fan opened up RoughnecksFC.com with a plea to improve the club. In the offseason, the Tulsa Roughnecks acquired a new coach and mostly new roster from the ashes of the NASL's Rayo OKC... here is the post in its entirety....
To the Owners, Management & Supporters of Tulsa Roughnecks FC
from a concerned fan
After weeks of continued losses, blowouts and even complete embarassment, I'm compelled to write this letter. This year has been a complete and utter disapointment to all who care about the Tulsa Roughnecks FC and the silence from the clubhouse about the future of the team does not feel like "no news is good news."
From the first season match to now, we've seen just three home wins and it seems that the team is saving it's biggest nosedive for the end. As supporters, we are obligated to point out what we feel isn't working, and to that point, here are a few suggestions for the team.
First, David Irving needs to go. Irving can, and should, take great pride in building the first roster for the club and finishing the inaugural season just three points shy of the playoffs and a .500 record. For a team built in record time and a tight budget, he did something great. Even his tie to the original Tulsa Roughnecks club is a cute tip of the hat, but it's ultimately unimportant in developing quality on the pitch. While there may have been a time when David Irving would be considered one of the finest minds in the USL, 2016 is definitely not it. Irving's strategy feels outdated in the USL of 2016. Driving the ball on the wing and playing the ball over the top have not been winning strategies yet most matches are filled with failed attempts at them. It can be comical at times to remember Irving was named to the league's hall of fame in 2011 right after a league rebranding to "USL PRO" and largely based on his perfromance in a different iteration of that league called "USL-2". Irving is a holdover from a USL-gone-past and like most other things of that era, he too must move on.
Second, the team is in dire need of quality scorers. Presently, Tulsa has scored the fewest goals of any team in the USL's Western Conference. Perhaps it goes without saying that whatever the clubhouse spent on this year's offensive players, they deserve a refund. Forwards Kaleem, Taylor Morgan, and Bryce Taylor have each only netted a single goal and the three players combined effiencey of a 636 minutes-per-goal ratio is simply not good enough. Coach David Irving has more career goals for a team called the Roughnecks than they do and he only played seven matches before demanding a transfer out of Tulsa. Christian Mata has been playing far below his ceiling and production ability. Midfield goal production also bottomed out this season and production has been lopsided and noticibly absent from Brady Ballew. Tulsa earned 25 goals off midfield players last season, but this year have only five. It's Sammy Ochoa's 10 goals and five assists that have been the exception exempt of the fact that he's been involved in three out of every four goals the club scores. Sammy cannot put the entire team on his back and as he continues to draw red cards and accumulate yellow cards, it's clear the team cannot afford to bet it all on a single player. If Sammy were to have become injured and missed more than the three matches he's missed, this season would somehow be even more unthinkably worse than it is.
Youth player development is also a major issue as evidenced by the fact that Tulsa had zero players named to USL's 20 Under 20 list, mainly because they don't have any. The Roughnecks have been outplayed by a number of young players from teams around the league and the fact that there's nobody to grow into a role with the team means that the team will always be filled with aging washups and misfits from around the soccer world. The Roughnecks's sole 20 year old, Hunter Harrison, has yet to see a single minute of a single match and the rest of the players who wore the shirt this season average 25 years of age. Roughnecks FC badly needs to partner with one of Tulsa's major clubs to bring younger players into TRFC, and probably also find a partner for further development in an amateur league. Since it appears a Roughnecks/Athletics partnership is unlikely, perhaps TRFC will need to find a partner in a PDL team somewhere nearby (perhaps Mississippi Brilla).
There's a laundry list of other problems as well: the fact that the team has received the second highest amount of disciplinary cards this season; that the viewing angles of ONEOK Field stink; very expensive merchandise in the store. The list goes on and hopefully these items are addressed in the offeseason.
Hopefully the club puts deep consideration about who the team is and will be and are transparent when they have a plan to rectify it. Roughnecks FC was supposed to be a return to form of the days of yore. Any team that uses the name Roughnecks will live in the shadow of what was accomplished in 1983, but this franchise was supposed to be a promotion over the other mediocre teams that had formerly held the name, not to become another one.
All these things said, a team called the Tulsa Roughnecks has recovered from a bad season before. Tulsa has thousands of soccer fans (many of them very young and who can forget a bad season much easier than most) who dream of seeing the name Roughnecks name worn with pride by a team who fights for the city and who demands nothing short of the best.
We don't ask for much, we just ask for what was promised: a team to be proud of.
This domain is no longer owned by the NASL and is now for sale.
All interested parties, please email admin (at) roughnecksfc.com with serious purchasing inquries only.
***Comments or questions? Email to USRufnex@TulsaRoughnecks.com and I will post them in a relatively timely fashion.