San Antonio FC begins another two-match home stand as they welcome their original Texas rivals RGV FC to Toyota Field for the only time in 2019. This will be the last match for San Antonio FC in the inaugural year of the Copa Tejas competition, and they will be the first team to complete all six games. RGV still has two more Copa games to play after this one.
San Antonio enters the match level on points at the top of the Copa Tejas standings with Austin after picking up two straight Copa wins in July against Austin and El Paso. For all intents and purposes, San Antonio needs to win to have any realistic chance at lifting the Texas based trophy. Here’s a look at the overall Copa Tejas standings going into this match:
In order to make that happen, SAFC will need a much stronger performance than the one they produced down in the valley in May when they were handily defeated 3-1, their first ever loss at HEB Park. But SAFC will feel great about themselves rolling into this match off a 4-1 road victory over Reno, the number two team in the West. This is definitely not the same SAFC team that RGV faced three months ago.
This SAFC team has Frank Lopez who has scored 4 goals in 5 matches. And this SAFC team has scored 2 or more goals in 5 of their last six matches, winning four of them. Things are finally moving in the right direction for San Antonio.
Cristian Parano had a brace against Reno and has scored 4 goals in the last 8 games. He knows SAFC needs to keep building. “We just have to continue fighting and building on what we have been working on. We have a very talented squad and the possibilities are endless for us, so we have to put our heads down and work hard to keep progressing.”
It wouldn’t be a SAFC-RGV match without some player ties and this season is no different. San Antonio added Defender Kai Greene in the off-season after spending three years with RGV-FC. Kai has been one of the most reliable players for SAFC in 2019. No doubt he’ll be looking to make amends against his old team.
RGV FC comes into the match off a 3-3 draw away to Colorado. They have only won one game in their last eight matches, and they have only won once away from home in 11 road matches in 2019. SAFC has only lost twice at home in 12.
Things haven’t gone to plan for RGV in 2019, but they do have two dynamic scorers. They are lead by Forward Michael Salazar who has 9 goals. Carlos Small is right on his heels with 8.
Forward Maalique Foster (4) and Midfielder Isidro Martinez (5) will also be players to watch on offense. Both are top two on the team in Assists.
Defender Kyle Adams paves the way on the back line with 87 clearances, more than 30 clearances above the next best Defender on the team.
There have been four different players to feature in goal for RGV this season with Nicolas Corti leading the way with 11 appearances and 31 saves. No RGV Keeper has more than one clean sheet on the season.
With SAFC back in playoff position for the first time in months, and with two long months still to go in the regular season, it’s all in front of them. And now they control their playoff destiny. Getting some payback on their oldest Texas rival would be a terrific next step.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
RGV FC (6-6-11) at San Antonio FC (8-6-9)
Toyota Field, Saturday August 17th, 2019
Kickoff 7:30pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Home Record 6-4-2
RGV FC – 2019 Road Record 1-3-7
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the 12th all-time meeting between the two clubs. RGV FC is the most common league opponent for SAFC in their history. After RGV FC won 4 of the first 6 matches between these two clubs, San Antonio has improved in the matchup, but RGV maintains the edge in this series. All time SAFC is 3-3-5 against their Texas rivals with RGV leading the series 18 points to 12.
5/25/19 @ RGV, L 1-3
8/17/19 @ SA
RGV FC defeated San Antonio FC 3-1 on May 25th behind a brace from Michael Salazar. Ever Guzman pulled one back for SAFC in the 70’ but it was too little too late to rescue any points for SAFC. San Antonio dominated possession (63-37%) and lead in shots (13-11) but they couldn’t get the goals that they needed.
Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
…if they continue to play like they have over the last month and take care of business over a team that is weaker than them, and not good on the road.
Midfielder Cristian Parano was named USL Championship Player of the Week on Tuesday for his 2-goal performance against Reno. It’s the first time in two years that any SAFC player has won the weekly league honor and he’s the first Midfielder for San Antonio to do so. Parano is the 4th overall San Antonio FC player to be recognized as Player of the Week, joining Cardone, Elizondo, and Guzman as prior winners.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC