Tulsa Roughnecks FC opened their preseason schedule Sunday afternoon with a win, recording a 5-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University at Sawgrass Complex in Fort Lauderdale.
It was a combination of new and familiar players who helped provide the victory. Returnee Sammy Ochoa scored a first-half brace, and 2015 USL Rookie of the Year finalist Brady Ballew provided a goal as the Roughnecks found the back of the net three times in the first half.
Newcomer Jasson Ramos Carpio scored a pair of goals in the second 45 minutes to cap off the opening victory.
It was the second time in a month that Florida Gulf Coast had faced a professional side. On January 31, the NCAA Eagles fell only 1-0 to MLS side New York City FC. NYCFC’s lineup that night included Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard and David Villa.
The Roughnecks opened the scoring in Sunday’s match in the 18th minute when Ballew set up Ochoa for his first goal.
Cristian Mata came close to doubling the lead in the 27th minute, before Ballew found the net just 60 seconds later. The midfielder made it 2-0, thanks to an assist from Mata.
Ochoa’s second goal came just before the halftime break and was assisted by Corentin Voitot, one of several trialists who saw time for the Roughnecks in the match.
Head coach David Irving made numerous changes to his lineup to open the second half, and it was FGCU who struck first after the break. The Eagles beat the Roughnecks’ defense in the 51st minute before Ramos Carpio provided the final margin of victory with his two goals.
The 20-year-old Guatemalan, who is expected to officially join the Roughnecks later this week after receiving clearance from FIFA, scored in the 70th minute as Taylor Morgan collected the assist.
Another newcomer, Kaleemullah, set up Ramos Carpio for his second goal in the 90th minute to cap off the big 5-1 victory. Kaleem is the captain of the Pakistan National Team and will wear the number 10 jersey for the Roughnecks this season.
“It was a good way to start the preseason,” said Irving. “We are in a little different position than last year, as we are much further along at this point and time. We certainly have some options to choose from.”
Irving was pleased with the start, but maybe more pleased with the way his squad came out of the match. “It was a very good result, but more importantly, we suffered no injuries.”
In goal, returnee Jake Feener played the first 45 minutes, while newcomer Alex Mangels, who was just signed last week, played the second half.
The Roughnecks will play their second match of the preseason on Tuesday when they take on Miami Fusion FC in Fort Lauderdale.