San Antonio FC will play their only home game of this current five match stretch, spanning from August 30th until September 28th, this Saturday night when they host OKC Energy at Toyota Field. SAFC will stumble into this match after losing two straight road games. Once again, SAFC has slipped out of playoff positioning. With only seven matches remaining SAFC has to make their move right now.
Last time SAFC played OKC, the two teams played to a 1-1 draw back in June. Which has been the norm in this series. 7 out of 9 league match-ups between these two teams have ended in a tie.
If there is any good news for SAFC, it’s that they played much better last week. They have now gone toe to toe with the clear best team in USL Championship, Phoenix Rising FC, twice this season. They drew the game at Toyota Field – a game SAFC probably should have won – 3 to 3. And they nearly escaped Phoenix with a draw, ultimately losing 1-0 after giving up a goal in the 87’.
The bad news is that they lost another player last week. That makes two players in two weeks with Ethan Bryant making an overseas move followed by the surprising release of fan favorite Billy Forbes last week. This team is running short on player options with four players also living on the injury list for a majority of the summer.
Talking about the OKC match up, Midfielder Jack Barmby is feeling the urgency to get points. “It’s huge. We need to win now. It’s vital that we win, and we pick up as many points as we can towards the end of the season, because it’s getting tighter and we want to be in the playoffs.”
OKC comes into this match off a loss as well. New Mexico dominated them 3-1 on Sunday night.
Last time these two teams played OKC was missing four players due to Gold Cup call ups. That included some of their best players like Defender Mekeil Williams and Forward Cordell Cato. They’ll be available this time.
OKC Energy’s roster has some significant SAFC flair to it. Forward Omar Gordon is a former San Antonio FC player, and Defender Christian Ibeagha is the brother to former SAFC Defender -now NYC FC Defender- Sebastien Ibeagha. Former SAFC player Max Gunderson is also on the roster but hasn’t contributed a lot so far in 2019. Gordon is another story. Gordon is third on the team in Goals with five and he leads the team in Assists with seven.
Deshorn Brown leads OKC with 12 goals which ties him for 8th in all of USL Championship. As a team OKC are fairly middle-of-the-road statistically, however. Their 42 goals scored are three fewer than SAFC’s 45.
OKC Energy boasts one of the best keepers in all of USL with Cody Laurendi. He leads all of USL Championship with 89 saves and he has also compiled a 71% success rate on saves. He has 5 clean sheets on the season. Defender Atiba Harris leads the way for the OKC back line with 114 clearances.
Time is running short for SAFC. Its probably not a great time to play a team like OKC which has always brought a close, tight match-up for San Antonio FC. SAFC needs to win as many of their remaining games as they can if they will have any chance of making the playoffs. Especially since only three of those games, counting Saturday, will be played at Toyota Field.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
OKC Energy FC (9-10-9) at San Antonio FC (9-7-11)
Toyota Field, Saturday September 14th, 2019
Kickoff 7:30pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Home Record 7-5-2
OKC Energy FC – 2019 Road Record 4-5-4
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the 11th all-time meeting between these two clubs and the series has featured a whole lot of draws. Seven of their nine league match-ups have ended in a tie, with each team also winning one game. OKC is also the only team to defeat SAFC in the playoffs, knocking them out in the 2017 Western Semifinals in penalty kicks after, you guessed it, yet another full time draw. All time SAFC is 1-7-2 against OKC Energy.
6/15/19 @ OKC, D 1-1
9/14/19 @ SA
San Antonio FC and OKC played to their 7th all-time draw back in June in Oklahoma. Rafael Garcia scored a PK goal for the home team in the 55’ to open the scoring. In second half added time Jack Barmby rescued a point for SAFC when his dramatic long-range free kick found the corner of the net to send San Antonio home with a point.
Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
…if they can regroup from another tough road trip and avoid another draw with their Oklahoma rivals. SAFC needs to play with urgency every single match from here until the finish.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER