Tulsa's new USL PRO team officially has a name. And it's one with which Tulsans will already be familiar.
The team announced on Wednesday it will be called the Tulsa Roughnecks FC, after that name emerged victorious in a fan contest over three other names. The Roughnecks name was held by the Tulsa team of the old NASL (original logo pictured above).
“We want to have soccer fans strongly involved with this team,” said Mike Melega, GM of Tulsa's stadium-mates, minor league baseball team Tulsa Drillers, in a statement. “That is why we wanted to do a Name Your Team Contest, so we could see what fans wanted and preferred in their team’s name.
“Throughout the voting process, it became clear that the nickname Roughnecks has come to be the name that soccer fans associate with Tulsa professional soccer. It is our city’s soccer identity here and throughout the country and we are excited to bring it back."
According to the release, the Roughnecks nickname took 50 percent of the votes in the contest, beating out Tulsa Strike, FC Tulsa, and Oil City FC. The name connects the new club to the NASL team of 1978-84, a team that won the league's Soccer Bowl championship in 1983.
Scheduled to begin play in USL PRO next year, the new Roughnecks will play at the Drillers' park, ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa. The team said they would be revealing the Roughnecks' colors, logo and uniform design later this year.
It is expected the Roughnecks will strike up an intrastate rivalry with 2014 USL PRO debutants Oklahoma City FC, coached by former Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.