San Antonio FC advanced past Laredo Heat in Second Round play in the US Open Cup at Toyota Field on Tuesday night behind first half goals from Defender Pascal Eboussi and Forward Ever Guzman and a pair of assists from Midfielder Jack Barmby. For Guzman, it was his 20th goal for San Antonio FC in all competitions, extending his own team record.
The night also featured not, not two, but three Professional debuts. SAFC Pro Academy prospects Leo Torres, Jose Gallegos, and newly signed Carson Price, all subbed into the match for San Antonio FC in the second half, marking a historic night for the club. Most impressive is Leo Torres who is only 15 years old. While he was definitely one of the smaller bodies on the field, his skill and footwork and speed made him blend in with everyone else on the pitch. It's easy to see why he's so heralded.
Manager Darren Powell was pleased with the proceedings on the night, saying afterwards “I thought the guys came out with a good, honest performance. It’s great to give young players an opportunity, and they handled themselves well, so collectively we’re pleased with the group for the performance. There are always things we can work on, but now it’s just a matter of winning and advancing in this competition, and now we’ll go on to the next round.”
Things got going in the 17' when SAFC Midfielder and Man of the Match Jack Barmy delivered a delicious corner kick into the Laredo area that Defender Pascal Eboussi headed into the back if the net for the early 1-0 lead. It was the first goal in a SAFC uniform for the Defender on loan from the Czech Republic.
Barmby would be involved again just before halftime in the 42' when he sent another perfect service into the area, this time for Forward Ever Guzman. Guzman's shot appeared to hit the crossbar and fall safely into the arms of Laredo Keeper Carlos Herrera, but the referee quickly signaled that the ball did indeed cross the line under the bar and in for the goal.
San Antonio would take the 2-0 lead into halftime, and they would see things out in the second half without much of a threat from a hard working but out-gunned Laredo team, laying the groundwork for the three impressive club debuts. Barmby's two assists on the night were one more than he has had in all of USL Championship play so far this season.
Said Barmby after the match, “It’s one of those games you just have to get through. It was always going to be a scrappy game, and credit to them they played well, but we got the win and we’re through, which is what we wanted.”
Next up for San Antonio FC in Open Cup play is a Third Round match against in-state rivals Austin Bold, at Austin on May 29th. They defeated Tulsa - SAFC's next league opponent - by the same scoreline of 2-0. Barmby for one, is pretty excited for the chance at redemption after SAFC fell to the Bold 1-0 in league play back in March.
“It’ll be nice and it’ll be great for the fans. We obviously want revenge, we felt like we played well there (in the league) and conceded a soft goal, so we can’t wait.”
First, San Antonio FC will have to take care of some league duty. They host Tulsa Roughnecks in USL Championship play at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
SAFC: 1-0, Pascal Eboussi (Jack Barmby assist) 17’
SAFC: 2-0, Ever Guzman (Jack Barmby assist) 42’
Heat SC: Yellow Card (Daniel Rebolledo) 30’
Heat SC: Yellow Card (Emiliano Fama) 49’
Heat SC: Yellow Card (Katsuyoshi Kimishima) 85’
TWEET OF THE NIGHT:
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / USL CHAMPIONSHIP PHOTOGRAPHER / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER