TULSA, Okla., March 25 – The Tulsa Roughnecks, who scored a season-low 25 goals a year ago when they finished last in the United Soccer League’s Western Conference, scored four goals to give new head coach David Vaudreuil his first USL coaching win with a 4-1 decision over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Sunday.
The Roughnecks, 5-21-1 a year ago, scored four unanswered goals to erase an early Colorado lead and win the season opening contest before nearly 5,000 fans. Ian Svantesson had two goals while Juan Caffa had a goal and an assist for the Roughnecks.
Vaudreuil grew up in Canton and was an All-American soccer player for the Warriors, leading Canton to the 1981 Class S championship. After graduating from Canton in 1984, he played at Princeton and played professional soccer for 14 years including several seasons in Major League Soccer from 1996 through 2002 with D.C. United, the Colorado Rapids and Chicago Fire.
Tulsa plays in the USL, a Division II league, the equivalent of Triple A baseball. The Roughnecks have an affiliate agreement with the Fire with three players currently on loan playing with the Roughnecks. Vaudreuil appeared in 26 regular season games for the Fire in 2001 and 2002.
The Roughnecks went 4-0-1 in the exhibition season and have revamped their roster for the 2017 campaign.
“I am very happy the guys got rewarded for their good play,” Vaudreuil said after Saturday night’s win. “It was four very nice goals and we managed the game very well.”
Since Tulsa plays in the Western Conference of the USL, the closest they will come to the East Coast is a game in St. Louis. The league has 30 teams this year and is the largest Division II professional league in the world.
The season runs through the weekend of October 12-15 with eight teams in each conference advancing to the USL Cup playoffs.
This is Vaudreuil’s second head coaching job at the Division II level. He spent a year and a half as the head coach of the Atlanta Silverbacks from 2004-05. In his first season, the Silverbacks went 14-11-3 in the A League, which was similar to the Triple A level in baseball. He was fired in June 2005, finishing with a 17-16-6 tenure with the club.