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Cleveland shines in Tulsa debut

The Roughnecks’ latest Fire loanee performs well in first professional appearance

MLS: 2017 Portraits USA TODAY Sports

After receiving a 4-0 drubbing from Reno 1868 FC last Wednesday, Chicago Fire USL affiliate Tulsa Roughnecks FC bounced back and defeated Portland Timbers II 3-1 at ONEOK field over the weekend.

The Roughnecks used three first-half goals and strong performances from loanees Stefan Cleveland and Collin Fernandez—who were both included in the starting 11—to defeat the Portland Timbers’ USL reserve team.

Following half time, Cleveland came up big for Tulsa on several occasions. Midway through the second half, Portland’s Villyan Bijev forced two saves out of the former Louisville Cardinal in as many minutes.

However, the Roughnecks survived a second half push from the Timbers, and Cleveland secured the victory for his new side with a save against Augustine Williams in the 88th minute.

Here’s just one of his quality saves:

The 26th pick in this year’s MLS SuperDraft was officially credited with five saves in the match—his professional debut, and Roughnecks head coach David Vaudreuil seems to have gotten another gem from Chicago.

The victory moved Tulsa up five sports in the Western Conference table, the club’s highest standing in history after 10 matches.

The Roughnecks return to action on Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup against San Antonio FC, the only undefeated team remaining in the USL.