David Irving has been involved in soccer for 45 years as a player and coach. Now, he's the head coach of the new Tulsa Roughnecks, and he's in charge of finding players to fill the roster of the USL Pro Side.
"We have to do our homework and watch a lot of players over the next few weeks. The clock's ticking, that's for sure," said Irving.
Most teams in USL Pro have an affiliation with an MLS team. For example, future in-state rival Oklahoma City Energy is under Sporting Kansas City. Tulsa is one of four teams that is not affiliated, so it's on its own to find players.
"A new franchise, we've got a lot of work. We've got to build a foundation to move forward; we need quality players," Irving stated.
To find quality players, Coach Irving and his staff have been everywhere including: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Orlando, Florida, Chicago, Illinois, Dallas, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Los Angeles, California, Sacramento, California, and even across seas to Dublin, Ireland. "I've been travelling most of the time looking for players... A lot of coaches, we all know the same players, so I think the key is we got to find something a little different from somewhere else."
Finding players hasn't been difficult; his phone is filled with messages from agents and players. For now, Irving will take notes and do a lot of scouting to find what he hopes is a good starting 11. "[At the] end of the day it's my decision what players come here. Just got to document all the information, put it together, and make sound decisions. It's coming fast a furious at us, but that's what we got to do and that's why you get up every morning and accept that challenge."
The challenge of beginning play starts in February.