“Championship or Nothing”: TU Soccer Alum Bryson Reed Shines for Tulsa Athletic

“I think, if you were to ask any of the guys, any of the coaching staff, they would definitely say it’s gotten to the point where it’s a championship or nothing.”

The words of Tulsa Athletic goalkeeper Bryson Reed show the importance of Saturday’s NPSL National Semifinals.  A win means a trip to the 2023 NPSL National Championship; a loss means the end of his team’s season.

“With the results we’ve had over the past few years, we all knew that eventually we’ll get the chance to compete for a national championship,” Reed said. “We just have to be bought in and locked in at all times.  And definitely right now, obviously we’re taking it one game at a time.  But I would say winning a national championship is really all I’m focused on right now.”

Tulsa Athletic is in very capable hands with Reed in goal.  Reed was a standout for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, starting 17 games and logging over 1,500 minutes.  The two-year letterwinner registered 69 saves, four shutouts, and a 1.48 GAA.  He also spent two seasons at Northern Oklahoma College, leading NOC to the NJCAA Regional Semifinals and NJCAA Regional Championship.

Reed has now been with Tulsa Athletic for a total of five seasons, and his statistics are absolutely astonishing.  He has started 56 games, posted 20 shutouts, and amassed 5,109 minutes played.     

Reed has seen just about everything, including an incredible run in the U.S. Open Cup earlier this year.  He was no stranger to the historic competition, starting five games, earning three shutouts, and collecting 23 saves in 450 minutes played.    

“It’s just been an unbelievable experience, like playing Sporting Kansas City in their facilities,” Reed added. “Not many people get to witness or even play in something like that.  I was very blessed to be able to do that.  We knew as soon as the Open Cup run ended for us, going back to the NPSL, there was going to be a big target on our backs.”

Tulsa Athletic has navigated the NPSL campaign with great success, finishing with a 7-1-2 record in the regular season.  In the postseason, Tulsa claimed Heartland Conference and Midwest Region titles after several impressive performances.  None of the team’s success this year was surprising to Reed.

“We knew going into the season what our expectations were and what we were capable of,” Reed continued. “Nobody’s really surprised by us so far.” 

Noone should be surprised by how important Reed is to the Athletic squad.  He’s a talented player, an influential leader, and someone that can be counted on no matter the scenario.

Bryson is the best goalkeeper our club has ever had,” Tulsa Athletic Owner Sonny Dalesandro said. “He came in in late 2018 and very quickly established himself as our number 1.  I’d have to say that of all the incredible abilities and traits that Bryson possesses, my favorite thing about him is that he keeps his silver medal from the 2021 national championship in plain sight as motivation and a reminder of a job unfinished.  We’re excited for him to take it down.”

An obvious advantage for Tulsa this Saturday is playing in front of a home crowd full of family, friends, and supporters.

“Whenever we play home games, you can tell that whenever the other teams show up, they’re not used to having crowds like the crowds that we have,” Reed concluded. “The fan base that we have is unbelievable, like they’re really family.  Before and after games they’re cheering you on no matter what the result is.  It’s a huge advantage to be able to play at home and not have to mess with all the traveling that goes on and get to play at our home field where we’ve been playing all season in front of the people that support us no matter what.  It definitely gives us extra motivation to push through those games.”

Reed and Tulsa Athletic will face off against the West Region’s Crossfire Red (7-2-1) on Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 pm at Soldier Field on the campus of Rogers State University in Claremore, OK.  Tickets can be purchased online for just $12.  A live stream will be also be available on the Eleven Sports and FIFA+ platforms.       

Photo Credit: Thad Bell/NPSL.com


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