San Antonio FC will play their first Saturday match in league play in over a month this Saturday night as they travel to sunny southern California to take on Orange County SC. There were no goals between these two teams the last time they got together back in May at Toyota Field.
But for San Antonio FC – the goals away from home finally arrived on Wednesday night. It’s the second match in four days for SAFC, and their third in eight days, but San Antonio will be feeling great about a 3-1 win at El Paso on Wednesday night that left them level with Austin on points at the top of the Copa Tejas standings. Most importantly, it was their first road win of the 2019 season.
It was an exhilarating debut from Forward Frank Lopez who scored a brace before halftime in the win. Lopez joined the team on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy II earlier in the week. He now has 8 goals in USL Championship play in 2019. He seemed to fit right in with his new teammates, and he knows the win was most important.
"I'm thrilled to have made my club debut and to have earned the win. It was very important that we secured the three points on the road."
But Lopez wasn’t the only player shining for SAFC on offense. Bradford Jamieson IV scored a goal, assisted by Billy Forbes. Both Forbes and Jamieson each have a goal and two assists in their last two matches. If those players are going to get hot at the same time, combined with the addition of Lopez, this team might be turning a real corner in their season.
Especially when you consider that after Saturday, SAFC will play four of their next five at home. San Antonio has only been beaten once at home this season in ten games.
It was the first time that SAFC earned back to back wins since April 13th. Now they’ll try and make it back to back road wins in 4 days. With the win on Wednesday, they have jumped Orange County in the standings for the first time.
Orange County comes into this match reeling. They lost their last match 3-2 to SAFC’s Texas rivals Austin Bold over the weekend. And overall, they have lost 4 of their last 5 games. They have been beaten three times at home this year. These two teams are fairly similar from a statistical standpoint.
Just like San Antonio, OC-SC doesn’t wow anyone with their offensive numbers. They have scored 27 goals to SAFC’s 28. Orange County boasts three players with 5 or more goals scored, led by Darwin Jones with 6. Aodhan Quinn and Michael Seaton have 5 each. Quinn is also the assist leader for the team with three, tied with Jerry van Ewijk.
Patrick McLain is the main Goal Keeper for Orange County, earning 3 clean sheets in 12 total appearances. He has 37 saves. Orange County are tied for 10th in USL West with 29 goals conceded. SAFC are tied for 7th with 28 goals conceded.
Walker Hume leads the OC-SC defenders with 54 clearances.
Suddenly San Antonio FC are one of the hottest teams in USL Championship West. They are one of only seven teams with one loss or fewer in their last five games. And this game will end a grueling stretch of three games for SAFC during this last week.
The further good news is that they have 4 of the next 5 at home after Saturday night. If they can find a way to earn three more road points on a team that is struggling, it could go a long way towards launching SAFC into a big second half of the season.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC (6-5-8) at Orange County SC (5-7-7)
Championship Soccer Stadium at OC Great Park, Saturday July 20th, 2019
Kickoff 9:00pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Road Record 1-1-7
Orange County SC– 2019 Home Record 4-2-3
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the eighth meeting between these two clubs. Since re-branding to Orange County SC in 2017, OC has dominated the series with SAFC only winning once in five games. Orange County swept the season series last year. All time, SAFC is 2-2-3 against OC. San Antonio is 1-0-2 on the road in the series.
5/11/19 @ SA, D 0-0
7/20/19 @ OC
San Antonio FC and Orange County played to a 0-0 draw at Toyota Field back in May. It was an even match in many ways as possession favored SA 52-48% and shots by a count of 16-13. But neither team could find a breakthrough in the match. Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
…. If they can find their legs on a short week, ride the momentum of a big midweek victory, and take advantage of a team that is struggling at the mid-point of their season.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER