The Tulsa Roughnecks and head coach David Irving have begun the New Year with a major signing today. Irving and the Roughnecks announced that Cristian Mata has come to terms on a new contract with the club for the 2016 season. Mata is a local product who played youth soccer for the Tulsa Soccer Club and Tulsa Union High School before playing collegiate soccer for the University of Tulsa.
Photo by: Lori Scholl
Mata made his professional debut last year after joining the Roughnecks in mid-season. The energetic forward had an impact, scoring 6 goals in 15 appearances.
“The sky is the limit for Cristian’s potential in the game of soccer,” said Irving. “When he joined us last season, his hard-working approach helped to energize our squad. He has a great chance to achieve even more this year when he will be with us for the entire season.”
Mata made his first pro appearance on June 25, 2015, coming on as a substitute in a match against Sacramento Republic FC at ONEOK Field. Twenty minutes after taking the field, he scored his first professional goal in what was an eventual 3-1 loss to the Republic.
After Mata joined the Roughnecks, the squad picked up points in 10 of its final 15 matches and fell just one win short of a spot in the USL playoffs.
“I am very thankful for my association with the Roughnecks,” said Mata. “It has been a dream to begin my career in the city that saw me grow and work my way up. I am very happy to be back with my team, in my city and with some of the most passionate fans in the USL. 2016 can be a massive year for soccer in Tulsa and I can’t wait to get it going!”
Season tickets for the Roughnecks upcoming season are currently on sale at the ONEOK Field Ticket Office, at TulsaRoughnecksFC.com and by calling (918)744-5901.