January 12, 2018 - United Soccer League (USL) - Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Tulsa, OK - Tulsa Roughnecks FC and the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer announced today that the two clubs have extended their affiliation agreement for the upcoming 2018 season. The agreement extends a partnership that began last year with the Fire sending a selected number of players to Tulsa to play for the Roughnecks during the USL seasons.
As part of the agreement, the Fire will also host the Roughnecks in early March of this year for a scrimmage between the two sides, prior to the start of the MLS and USL seasons.
"We are extremely pleased to be continuing the relationship with the Chicago Fire," said TRFC Head Coach David Vaudreuil. "General Manager Nelson Rodriguez and the entire staff have been tremendous, and we look forward to working with them again this year."
Vaudreuil spent two years with the Fire during his professional playing career and helped to bring the two clubs together last year.
"We are pleased to retain our affiliation with Tulsa Roughnecks FC," said RodrÃ-guez. "After a mutually productive season in 2017, we intend to grow our relationship this year."
Last season, a total of six players spent time in Tulsa on loan from the Fire. Midfielders Joey Calistri and Collin Fernandez spend the entire 2017 USL season with the Roughnecks. Both were key contributors to Tulsa's run to a USL playoff berth with Calistri finishing second on the team in goals (9) and assists (6). In addition, TRFC defender Jorge Corrales was signed to a MLS contract last fall by Chicago and is now on the Fire roster.
Earlier today, the USL announced the 2018 conference alignments for the regular season. The conferences will split geographically with 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and 17 teams in the Western Conference. Saint Louis FC will move over to join TRFC in the west, along with expansion clubs Las Vegas Lights FC and Fresno FC. The 2018 season will begin in the middle of March.