Frank Lopez has scored 27 goals and tallied five assists in his first three professional seasons in the USL Championship. The OKC Energy FC forward combines pace, great timing and finishing, and strength to make for a very difficult striker to stop.
In addition to being known as a proven goalscorer, Lopez has a bit of a reputation for being short-tempered during his time in the USL. When asked if that’s accurate or if he’s just very competitive, Frank answered, “Good question, I think my character is the best that I have because I consider myself a man who always goes forward. When something bothers me or I think it is wrong, I confront them and some people may be upset by me being so direct but I am like that and I think I will never change.”
Whether it’s a fair representation of him or not, Frank doesn’t really pay that outside noise any mind. “But no, I don’t care about what outsiders think,” he said. “I always try to do the best I can. You can be sure that if you respect me I will respect you but if you disrespect me I will not remain silent because it is something that I cannot stand.”
Last season, Lopez scored one goal and added one assist while splitting time between OKC and going on loan with Sacramento Republic FC. In friendlies leading up to the 2021 campaign, the 26-year-old has been able to put the ball in the back of the net on multiple occasions. “Yes, thank God I have been able to score some goals in preseason, and I have been working hard to get in shape as quickly as possible,” he said. “This year like all the previous ones that I played, I set goals for myself and I continue with the same minimum 10 goals.”
Sit back and enjoy three fantastic goals on this Sunday evening 📽
— Energy FC (@EnergyFC) April 11, 2021
Back with Energy FC this season, Lopez said, “This year we are working a lot of tactics and the team has an idea of how they want to play and I think that is the strongest point to know what we are going to the pitch and I will contribute my full dedication in all the games and if all goes well, my goals.”
With his consistent performances as a professional, Lopez would certainly be someone on the radar of the Cuban national team. This year, his native Cuba has called players that are playing abroad into the national team for the first time ever. That could open the door for Lopez to represent his country’s senior team after playing for the youth national team before he came to the United States. “I hope one day to be able to wear the shirt of my country again but it is complicated by the politics of Cuba like me and many players who are here in the USA,” he explained. “The leaders of the Cuban federation call us traitors for the simple fact of wanting fulfill a dream of playing professionally and being able to give our families a better life.”
“But well that decision was up to us and we knew the punishment that we faced and we did it for our families and for that dream but if they decide to call me there, I will be available.”
He’s also been able to find a little bit of home cooking out in Oklahoma City. “There is only one Cuban restaurant in OKC,” he explained. “They already know me by name because of how many times that I go, I also haven’t gotten used to many American foods.”
What Cuban dish would Lopez suggest to an American trying the cuisine for the first time? “Oohh the typical Cuban food arroz congriz (or moro), roast pork, fried ripe plantain is to go crazy for,” Lopez answered.
First up on the menu this season for Lopez and Energy FC is a rivalry matchup tomorrow vs. FC Tulsa at Taft Stadium (tickets are still available here).