In what is believed to be their first professional head-to-head meeting, Franck, a forward, and Uzi Tayou, a defender, are destined to square off this Saturday in Tulsa.
The brothers, who have been teammates for most of their soccer career, started the summer playing for the NPSL’s FC Wichita, but both players made the jump to the USL. Franck, 28, signed with Fresno FC in June and Uzi, 29, signed with the Tulsa Roughnecks this week. With Wichita FC, Uzi was named to the Heartland Conference and South Region XI Teams, and is a finalist for National XI.
“I’ve played against Uzi most of my life,” said Franck, recounting their battles in practice and the back yard. “I don’t think Saturday will be any different. There’s always love and respect no matter what.”
Two previous times they were set to play against each other indoors, but one time Uzi was injured and the other time he sat out by coach’s decision. There’s no guarantee Uzi will be in the lineup Saturday, but at 1-9-9 Tulsa certainly could use his defensive presence on the field. Franck, himself, has been limited to 127 minutes in five games since joining Fresno.
“When you get signed midway through the season it’s to come in and have an immediate impact,” said Franck. “The first few games it’s to break you in and get you up to speed. Here unfortunately I picked up an injury, which slowed down the process, but I’m better now. Hope to be at 100% as soon as possible.”
While in Wichita, the Tayous teamed up to upset Tulsa, eliminating them from the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Fresno is 7-7-7 and Franck has, historically, had a lot of success against Tulsa. With San Antonio FC in 2016 Franck scored the game-winning goal in both games against Tulsa, and he scored two goals including the game-winner in Wichita’s 4-3 win over the Roughnecks in May.
Uzi is excited about the matchup which has been a long time coming, but stresses that there is no sibling rivalry. “I will play like it’s a regular match and try to help my team win,” Uzi says, “unless he talks trash,” he adds with a laugh.
The game can be watched live on the ESPN+ app at 7:30pm CDT.