For the second time this year, San Antonio FC will be taking on a brand-new opponent. They will travel to take on expansion side New Mexico United for the first time. This is the first and only Sunday match scheduled for SAFC this season.
San Antonio FC is coming off their third straight win at Toyota Field, defeating Tacoma Defiance 3-0. It has been a much different story for San Antonio FC on the road so far this season, where they have yet to win a game in three tries. San Antonio has scored 11 goals at home this year but only 2 on the road.
Midfielder Jack Barmby had a first half brace over the weekend, the second first half brace in a row for SAFC. Brian Gomez, who had the brace two weeks ago, is the hottest player at the moment for SAFC. Gomez has two goals and two assists in the last three matches. He currently leads the team in assists.
Not to be out done is Forward Bradford Jamieson IV who has three goals in the last four matches. It sure seems like the SAFC offense is really starting to settle in to the 3-4-3 formation that has been used in the last several matches.
Defensively, the team rebounded nicely from a poor second half against Real Monarchs to earn their second straight clean sheet at Toyota Field. Defender Josh Yaro – one of only four SAFC players to start every match so far this year – was very happy with the performance.
Said Yaro, "It was a solid game for us from front to back. We tend to forget when a clean sheet it's good defensively, but it takes eleven guys on the field. The guys sitting in front of us make our job easy when they do their job, and I think they did a really good job today by making it tight and compact and coming back when they had to, and as a result we ended up getting a clean sheet."
Ever Guzman returned from the injury list last week to make the bench but was not involved in the contest. It will be interesting to see if he returns this week or not. New Mexico plays at Isotopes Park, the home of AAA Baseball’s Albuquerque Isoptes. Guzman was injured on a similar playing surface in Las Vegas last season. He ended up missing two months and it’s not a stretch to say his absence contributed heavily towards costing SAFC a playoff spot last season. Manager Darren Powell might choose to take a cautious approach with his talented striker.
Also on the bench last week, making his debut in the match day eighteen, was new SAFC Academy signee Midfielder Jose Gallegos. The 17-year-old product from Central Catholic High School did not get into the match, but it’s an encouraging sign for the teenager that he might be close to making his Professional debut.
New Mexico United has started their expansion campaign with much success. They are currently third on the USL Championship Western table with 14 points. They are unbeaten at home, winning two and drawing two, including a 5-1 pounding of Real Monarchs last month. Last week they drew at home against Portland Timbers II by a score of 3-3. They did so in dramatic fashion, with Forward Kevaughn Frater completing his hat trick in style during second half added time with this powerful strike:
New Mexico United will be a big test for the SAFC defense. They have scored a league best 19 goals and their conversion rate is second best in the league at 22%. Frater, along with fellow Forward Santiago Moar, are tied for the team lead in goals with 7 each. Their 14 combined goals are one more than SAFC has scored as a team all season long. Midfielder Chris Wehan leads the team with 3 assists.
Conversely, they can be scored on. Their 14 goals allowed is the 5th worst in USL Championship West and they only have one clean sheet on the season, earned by Goal Keeper Cody Mizell who has nine appearances on the season.
Defenders Rashid Tetteh and Justin Schmidt lead the way in clearances with 38 and 36 respectively.
It’s going to be a tall order for SAFC to get their first road win against a team that has yet to be defeated on their ground. And they will have a strong crowd behind them as well. Thus far New Mexico is second in all of USL Championship and tops in USL West in attendance, averaging over 11,000 fans per game. Last week they had 12,921. It’s going to be a tough environment.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC (3-1-4) at New Mexico United (3-5-1)
Isotopes Park, Sunday May 5th, 2019
Kickoff 6:30pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Road Record 0-0-3
New Mexico United– 2019 Home Record 2-2-0
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the first ever meeting between these two teams.
5/5/19 @ N MEX
8/24/19 @ SA
This will be the first time these two teams have ever met. With no past head to head highlights to showcase, check out their match highlights from last week against Portland Timbers 2.
SAFC Wins If :
….if SAFC can keep up their offensive successes from the last two matches and if the defense can play up to their potential away from home. SAFC will have to slow down New Mexico’s two dynamic scoring threats in Frater and Moar.
SAFC News – Leo Torres Update
SAFC Midfielder and SAFC Pro Academy standout Leo Torres was in Italy this past week with the US U-15 team. They won their opening game against India 3-0. On Monday, they lost to Slovenia 1-0. Leo Torres got the start in that match. The team lost the match, but Torres impressed with his performance according to multiple observers.
Torres was back in the starting lineup on Tuesday against Mexico, a 3-0 defeat that left the USYNT out of the tournament in the Group stage. Even though SAFC doesn’t play until Sunday, it’s probably unlikely that Torres is back with the team this week.
Midfielder Jack Barmby was named to the USL Championship Team of the Week on Tuesday for his two goal performance against Tacoma.
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER