TULSA, Oklahoma - Thirty years after the Tulsa Roughnecks brought a league championship to Green Country, professional outdoor soccer will return to Tulsa.

The Tulsa Athletics take to the field for the first time on Saturday, May 18, 2013. The team will play at the old Drillers Stadium at the Tulsa Fairgrounds at 6 p.m.

The owners of the new team say they grew up playing soccer and going to Roughnecks games. They hope to make a connection with other Roughnecks fans, by honoring some of the former Roughnecks at games this season.

The Roughnecks were a member of the North American Soccer League from 1978 to 1984. They routinely drew more fans than teams in larger cities, averaging more than 19,000 spectators per game during the 1980 season.

They won the 1983 Soccer Bowl, defeating the Toronto Blizzard in Vancouver by a score of 2-0, and received a hero's welcome when they returned to Tulsa.

After the NASL folded, several former players and coaches stayed in the Tulsa area, including Victor Moreland and Charlie Mitchell. Moreland is involved in coaching youth and Charlie Mitchell opened multiple restaurants.

Tickets for Saturday's game are $5 for general admission, $10 for reserved. Get more information by visiting the team's web site.

On Saturday, the Athletics will honor former Roughneck Alan Woodward at halftime. Woodward was a forward from England who played three seasons for the Roughnecks and became a fan favorite for his powerful shots on goal. 

Read more about Alan Woodward's career in Tulsa at nasljerseys.com.