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Showdown in Oklahoma City: NASL team with La Liga ties rivals USL side


There’s a soccer showdown in the 405 and, at the very least, it’s given us a video with an animated bird flying from Spain to Oklahoma City.

Already boasting the Energy, a new but well-supported side in the United Soccer League, Oklahoma City is getting its own NASL club as well in Rayo OKC.

The majority owner is the owner of Rayo Vallecano of La Liga, and Rayo OKC will start play in 2016. The club’s minority owner owns Oklahoma City in the Women’s Professional Soccer League.

The million-dollar question, however, is how will this work on the staging ground that is OKC?

[ MORE: Where does this rank among the worst PKs of all-time? ]

The NASL is in the second division of American soccer, under the MLS and currently above the USL. The USL has declared its intentions to move into second division status and rival the NASL.

Oklahoma City Energy saw a grass roots effort boost it to the seventh-best average attendance in the USL last year, at just over 4,600 fans per game. Rayo OKC will be playing in a 6,000-seater.

Single game seats for the Energy are between $14-46, while Rayo OKC’s single game range is between $12-40.

It’s fairly clear that the headline-grabbing NASL is hoping that the USL’s close relationship to MLS, with many MLS-2 sides and connections, will keep it down a tier in the OKC market.

Madrid, Rome, London... and Oklahoma City? Is the United States’ 42nd-biggest metropolitan statistical area big enough for two teams? And who wins: Lightning or Energy?

Follow @NicholasMendola