San Antonio FC returns home for their only match at Toyota Field going back to May 18th and extending all the way through June 26th as they are in the middle of 4 out of 5 games on the road in league play. SAFC had an awful week last week, losing all three of their games. They lost to RGV and Sacramento in league play and in between those two matches, they were bounced from the Open Cup by Austin. In the three games they were outscored 9-4.
It is reaching historical proportions for SAFC in all the wrong ways. So far in 2019, through 13 games, San Antonio has lost seven times in league play. In 2016 they didn’t have loss number 7 until July 30th, in match 19. In 2018, it wasn’t until August 15th, in match 23. In 2017, their lone playoff season, they only lost 4 games all season.
Through 13 games they only have three wins in league play. In 2016, they reached win number four on June 23rd, in game 14. SAFC could match that pace with a win on Saturday night. In 2018 win four came on June 2nd, in game 12. In 2017 they started hot and won four of their first five, reaching the four-win mark on April 22nd. Those were the days.
Clearly, this team is on pace to be the worst SAFC team in its short four-year history barring a major turnaround, especially looking at the loss column.
The one shining moment of the road trip was Goal Keeper Matt Cardone’s performance on Saturday night in Sacramento. He finished the match with 6 saves – tying his season high – and kept San Antonio in a match they were thoroughly outplayed in, deep into the second half. Cardone’s 38 saves ranks him third in USL Championship West, just 5 saves behind the leader, New Mexico’s Cody Mizell.
The strong outing was certainly noticed by Manager Darren Powell. “Matt performed well and made really good saves. I think a lot of players had a good performance tonight, and now we have to learn from this and come back ready to show that same commitment to improve ahead of every match. We’re looking forward to being back at Toyota Field in front of our fans.”
San Antonio will be happy to be back at Toyota Field where they have only lost once in seven games and where they have all three of their wins. One other bit of good news is that Midfielder Pecka was off the injured list and back in the match day eighteen in Sacramento. He didn't play, but hopefully he's one step closer to starting again. His defensive presence and skillful ball control could definitely be used by SAFC as soon as possible.
Reno comes into this match as a top four team in the West and riding high off a dominating win over Las Vegas, 4-0. Four different players scored for Reno as they overwhelmed Las Vegas with three second half goals. Reno presents another stiff challenge for a San Antonio defense that frequently hasn’t measured up. Reno is 4th in USL Championship West with 24 goals scored and they are second in the West with 207 shots, so they will test defenses early and often.
Forward Brian Brown leads the way for Reno 1868. He is tied for third in all of USL Championship with 8 goals – which is exactly double Ever Guzman’s output of four goals; SAFC’s leading goal scorer. Reno also has two players who are top 7 in all of USL Championship in Assists with Brown again leading the way for the team with five (third in USL) and Forward Corey Hertzog with four assists (tied for seventh in USL). Hertzog can score too – he has five goals so far in 2019.
They also have one of the stingiest defenses in USL Championship West as they have only conceded 16 goals on the year. That is good for 5th best in USL Championship West and 5 fewer than San Antonio.
Goal keeping duties have been evenly split for Reno between James Marcinkowski and Matt Bersano, each with 6 appearances. Marcinkowski has conceded ten goals to Bersano’s six and Bersano has both of the clean sheets that Reno has earned in 2019, but it’s probably a toss up as to which keeper will start in San Antonio on Saturday night.
Defenders Zach Carroll (47) and Brent Richards (40) have each hit the 40 clearances mark on the season to lead Reno’s defense.
Reno’s only loss in their last five games occurred in the US Open Cup when Sacramento beat them 1-0 in the second round of the tournament. Their last league defeat was back on April 27th when they lost to El Paso 1-0. They went all of May without a league loss while San Antonio went all of May without a league win.
This is a very important match for San Antonio FC. Not only do they need to put the past week of bad results behind them, but they are going right back out on the road for two more games after this one. Anything other than a win would severely damage San Antonio’s dwindling hopes of being a playoff team. Of course, playoff talk for a team sitting 16th on the Table seems absurd anyway.
Right now, they’d surely be very happy just to get back in the win column; something that hasn’t happened since April in league play. They would do well for themselves and the fans to take that small step back in the right direction on Saturday night.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
Reno 1868 FC (5-5-2) at San Antonio FC (3-3-7)
Toyota Field, Saturday June 8th, 2019
Kickoff 7:30pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Home Record 3-3-1
Reno 1868 FC – 2019 Road Record 2-2-2
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the 5th all time meeting between these two clubs and the series has been very one sided in Reno’s favor. Reno has won three of the first four match-ups, including sweeping SAFC in two matches last year. San Antonio is 1-0-1 in this series at Toyota Field including a 4-0 victory in the first ever meeting between these teams in April 2017. All time San Antonio is 1-0-3 against Reno.
6/8/19 @ SA
8/10/19 @ Reno
Reno defeated San Antonio FC 2-0 on June 23rd, 2018 at Toyota Field. Reno had goals from Jerry van Ewijk and Brian Brown to secure the win. They out shot San Antonio 20 – 8 in the match.
Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
… if they can maintain their good home form and put together a complete team performance. They will need it against a Reno side that is on a three-match win streak in this head to head series and one that plays solidly at both ends of the pitch in 2019.
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