El Paso, TX — The wind blew and the dust whipped across the Student Activities Complex Thursday night, but Oklahoma City FC's Adam Black wasn't fazed in the least. Having dealt with some nasty weather themselves recently, neither were his teammates.
Black and Co. had their way with a youthful El Paso Patriots team. The muscular Liverpool native notched a hat trick while goalie Brian Byars kept his sheets clean, and Oklahoma City reigned over the Patriots parade into their new digs at the SAC, 3-0.
Less than a week after dispatching El Paso, 3-1, in a game that took two days to complete because of heavy thunderstorms in the Oklahoma City area, OKC FC headed west just two days after dealing with the tragedy of the Moore, OK, tornado Monday afternoon.
They are resilient. They are also very good.
Head coach Jimmy Hampton decided to take the direct approach early, challenging a green Patriots defense with long balls. It yielded Black's first goal in just the fourth minute as the forward beat his marker, then beat El Paso goalie Agustin Rey.
The Patriots defense stiffened as the game progressed, but this time Black had some help from teammate Stephen Owusu. The midfielder knocked in a beautiful cross that Black had little trouble putting home in the 39th, and the visitors had a 2-0 lead at the half.
It didn't take long for Black to complete the hat trick. Another Owusu pass found him inexplicably unmarked directly in the middle of the area. Black first-timed a blast just under the crossbar against a helpless Rey in the 47th, and that was all Oklahoma City needed.
Oklahoma City FC (2-1-0) is now top of the table in the Mid-South, tied with the Austin Aztex at 6 points. El Paso (0-1-2, 1 point, T-5th Mid-South) is still searching for answers. At the bottom of the division, the Patriots will need to find them quickly as they will face the Texas Dutch Lions (1-1-1, 4 points, T-3rd Mid-South) Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
For tickets and information, contact the Patriots front office at 915.771.6620, or go to www.elpasopatriots.com . Fans and media can follow Patriots home games with live in-game updates via the team's Twitter feed, @elpasopatriots.