ABOUT FC TULSA
FC Tulsa is Oklahoma’s premier professional soccer club that plays in the USL Championship, the second division of U.S. Soccer. FC Tulsa was founded in 2015 as Tulsa Roughnecks FC, but was relaunched under its current name prior to the 2020 season.
In August of 2019, J.W., Ryan and Kyle Craft, brothers native to Tulsa, purchased the franchise, ushering in a new era of professional soccer in Tulsa. J.W. played basketball at Yale University and both Ryan and Kyle graduated from the University of Notre Dame. After the Crafts purchased the team, Tulsa Roughnecks FC finished up the 2019 season by going 4-3-3 in its final 10 matches of the season.
Two months after purchasing the club, the Craft brothers hired James Cannon to be President of Tulsa Roughnecks FC and stated their commitment to a new level of investment in the club on the field and in the Tulsa community. The change in leadership brought with it an almost entirely new front office staff, further emphasizing the change in professional soccer culture that was coming to Tulsa.
On December 4, 2019, the Crafts announced that the team name would change to FC Tulsa, while the crest and colors would have a new look with new colors. The club enlisted soccer design icon Matthew Wolff to create the look and feel for the future of Tulsa processional soccer, and FC Tulsa was born. The scissor-tailed flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird, is at the heart of the new logo. The vertical “TULSA,” a nod to the vertical signage throughout the city, while the art deco typeface is inspired by Tulsa’s rich art deco history.
The club also dropped its previous blue and orange color scheme, which the Roughnecks had used since 2015, in favor of a black, white, and gold combination representing the art-deco color scheme of downtown Tulsa with patina accents, the color of the rusted copper roofs of some of Tulsa’s oldest buildings.
On February 27, 2020, FC Tulsa signed the first broadcast TV deal in club history. Tulsa partnered with Fox23 and My41 Tulsa in a deal which would see every FC Tulsa home match broadcasted on the channel. Heading into the 2022 season, 48 matches have been broadcasted on My41 with two matches airing on Fox23.
Ahead of the 2022 USL Championship season, FC Tulsa inked a landmark multi-year partnership with PUMA, joining clubs such as Manchester City FC, Borussia Dortmund, and AC Milan in partnering with PUMA. FC Tulsa becomes just the sixth professional club in the United States to rep the PUMA brand.
On June 9, 2022, FC Tulsa announced the hiring of Sam Doerr as the new president of FC Tulsa. Doerr joined the club from the Florida Panthers of the NHL, having also previously established San Antonio FC and Phoenix Rising FC as premier franchises in the USL Championship, both on and off the pitch. Midway through the season, Blair Gavin was named the club’s next head coach and will take over the reigns in 2023.
The City Kit, a white shirt featuring black font and the golden crest, is an homage to the city the club calls home. It features gold names and numbers on the back, as well as a patina green dreamcatcher on the front, mirroring the Tulsa state flag. The two crossed Wrenches at the base of the neck represented the back-to-back Wrenches won over rivals OKC Energy FC in 2020 and 2021.
The State Kit is an all-black uniform with gray paneling along the ribs and a horizontal white line from front to back. The clean black kit is accented with white trim along the sleeves, as well as the golden Oklahoma state logo on the front, signifying that FC Tulsa is Oklahoma’s soccer club. As with the City kit, the crossed Wrenches can be found at the base of the neck above the name on the kit.
On the Pitch
In FC Tulsa’s inaugural season of the new era, the club rode the highs and lows of the 2020 season like every sports team around the world as the globe was impacted by the COVID-19 virus. However, FC Tulsa persevered against the challenges and finished a record-breaking campaign that saw the club go 6W-2L-7D and clinch a USL Championship Playoff berth, just the second playoff appearance in club history.
The team also set a high-water mark for longest unbeaten streak (seven matches), longest winning streak, best defense and countless other historical records. Goalkeeper Sean Lewis finished with the third-most saves in the USL Championship as well. In 2021, FC Tulsa continued its winning ways, finishing the season at 14W-13L-5D and clinched back-to-back Playoff berths for the first time in franchise history. FC Tulsa won the Wrench once again, the first time the Wrench was painted gold in back-to-back seasons.
In 2022, FC Tulsa ushered in its youth movement, signing three players under 20 years old to professional contracts as president Sam Doerr and 2023 head coach Blair Gavin began to restructure the roster with the future in mind. Still, 16 players finished the season with an assist, the second-most in the USL Championship, as interim head coach Donovan Ricketts took over the club in June. Ricketts finished the season with an 8W-8L-3D record before Gavin took over as the club’s manager for the 2023 season.
Off the Pitch
One of the priorities of the Craft family when they bought FC Tulsa was to be active in the Tulsa community and be an organization that truly makes a difference in this city. FC Tulsa is proud to have launched a number of community initiatives and partnered with terrific organizations here in Tulsa to make that happen.
In 2021, FC Tulsa launched the Tulsa Dream League with the Tulsa Dream Center, North Tulsa’s first fully-funded youth soccer league, allowing children to play soccer on two fully developed fields with proper kits and balls. Project eNGAGE was also started in 2021 in association with the Tulsa Police Department to bring together under-resourced children and police officers through video games to build trust and relationships between police and at-risk youth.
The club also teamed up with Tulsa Public Schools in the Impact Ball initiative in which players would deliver team-signed soccer balls to schools that teachers could use to incentivize good behavior and work ethic. Over 26 schools across six school districts were involved in the program by the end of 2022.
In addition to these larger initiatives, FC Tulsa is regularly involved in the community by way of other events through community partners such as Gaining Ground, Food on the Move, Uplift Ed, Able Athletes, and many others.
ABOUT ONEOK FIELD
ONEOK Field is a state-of -the-art multi use stadium located in the historic Greenwood district of Downtown Tulsa. Opened in April of 2010, ONEOK has seen numerous soccer seasons, baseball seasons, as well as concerts in downtown Tulsa. The stadium installed a retractable pitchers mound in 2018 to enhance the soccer experience and new LED lights in 2022 and hosts a capacity of 7,833 with multiple party decks and a great selection of luxury suites. ONEOK Field is located at 201 N. Elgin Ave, Tulsa, OK, 74120
ABOUT THE USL
Originally founded in 1986, the United Soccer League has become one of the most sophisticated soccer organizations in North America over the past decade. Comprised of three leagues as it enters 2022, the USL is set to bring high-level competition to more than 100 markets across the United States and Canada in the coming years.
ABOUT THE USL CHAMPIONSHIP
The USL Championship is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million and fueling the growth of the game across North America. Games can be found on ESPN+, ESPN 3, and across linear channels as well.