The second half of the season begins on Wednesday night for SAFC and for the third time this season San Antonio FC will take on Austin Bold FC. The first two matches did not go according to plan for the Alamo City Boys. In league play, San Antonio lost 1-0 in March. In Open Cup play in May, San Antonio was again upended by their new rivals 4-2. Perhaps things will go better for SAFC in this matchup at Toyota Field, where they have only been beaten 9 times in USL Championship play in their history.
This will be the second of three straight Copa Tejas matches for SAFC in league play. In between the Austin match and a trip to El Paso, San Antonio will welcome EFL Championship side Cardiff City for an International friendly. Austin is the first team that San Antonio FC will face for the second time in USL Championship play in 2019.
Thanks to a draw against El Paso last week, San Antonio FC are up against it in the Copa Tejas standings. This is a virtual must-win match to keep their slim Copa Tejas hopes alive. A loss would eliminate them from contention for the Cup with two Copa matches still to play.
Here's a look at the current Copa Tejas standings heading into this game. All four teams are halfway through the regional competition.
Midfielder Jack Barmby will miss the match thanks to picking up two yellow cards in a five-minute span against El Paso, which added up to a red card. That will be a big loss for an already depth-tested team in SAFC who had four players on the injured list for the El Paso match.
SAFC Defender Kai Greene knows last week was a missed opportunity. “It’s unfortunate that we came out of it with only a point, but we had to manage the game and we had to defend. Nobody likes playing with 10 men, so we had to manage the game and when we get a chance, we go for it, but if not we have to sit back. Of course, when we play at home we always go for the win, but at the same time we have to play smart.”
Austin comes into this match off a short week, having played against Colorado at home over the weekend. And they played very well, winning the match convincingly 5-0. Austin will be looking for a reversal of their own road fortunes which aren’t much better than San Antonio’s. Thus far they have only won twice away from home in eight matches.
But overall, Austin has been on fire lately. They have 3 wins in their last 5 games and they haven’t been beaten since May 25th when they lost to New Mexico. On the flip side, San Antonio only has one league win in the last two months.
Last time these teams met, it was the former-SAFC-player show, as Guadarrama and Restrepo had really strong games against their former team. It’s a smart bet that coming back to Toyota Field will inspire them to repeat that level of performance and that they’ll also want to remind all of San Antonio what they’re missing. That would include Kris Tyrpak as well, who has 4 goals and 2 assists on the season.
Andre Lima leads all Bold players with 7 goals after scoring a brace over the weekend. Calum Malace and Sean McFarlane each lead the way with 3 assists. And keep an eye out for Kleber. He has played very well against San Antonio and has four goals on the season also, adding to a very balanced Austin attack.
In goal, San Antonio fans will know that it’s all about Diego Restrepo. He has 39 saves and 6 clean sheets to his name for the season.
Jermaine Taylor and Sean McFarlane are two of the best on defense. Taylor has a whopping 71 clearances so far this season and McFarlane has 52.
As the second half of the season begins, it’s all on the line for San Antonio FC in Copa Tejas. Aside from keeping that trophy hunt alive, and probably more importantly, SAFC needs a win badly for their own confidence and to keep pace in the USL Championship playoff chase. And after two losses on the road to the expansion side from Austin already in 2019, SAFC definitely owes them one.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
Austin Bold FC (7-5-5) at San Antonio FC (4-5-8)
Toyota Field, Wednesday July 3rd, 2019
Kickoff 7:30pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Home Record 4-4-1
Austin Bold FC– 2019 Road Record 2-2-4
All Time History (W-D-L)
Wednesday will mark the third meeting between these two teams. San Antonio has lost to Austin in USL Championship play and in Open Cup play for an all-time record of 0-0-2 against the Bold. This will be the first match between these two teams at Toyota Field.
3/30/19 @ ATX L 0-1
5/29/19 @ ATX L 2-4 (US OPEN CUP)
7/3/19 @ SA
San Antonio was haunted by former players in a May Open Cup tie. Midfielder Sonny Guaradarrama had a first half brace and an assist and GK Diego Restrepo made several key saves as Austin cruised to a 4-2 win. SAFC had goals from Walter Restrepo and Jack Barmby.
Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
…if they can rise up without their best player who will be serving a suspension and take down a team that has had their number in their short history.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER