San Antonio FC wraps up a two-match road trip this Wednesday night when they face Tulsa Roughnecks. It will be the final Wednesday night match of the season for SAFC. And it will be a busy week for the club as they will play their third match in 9 days just three days later when they host Fresno on Saturday night. But first things first.
San Antonio FC needs a win. They come into this match off a 1-1 draw with Los Angeles Galaxy II on Friday night. It was only the 5th time in 14 road games that SAFC earned road points. They were probably fortunate to have earned the point after team Captain, Pecka, was sent off with a red card early in the second half, forcing SAFC to finish with 10 men. Needless to say, Pecka will not be available on Wednesday night.
Fortunate or not, draws are not enough at this stage. The result left SAFC once again on the outside looking in for playoff positioning, currently sitting in 11th place, one point behind El Paso. The top 10 teams qualify for the playoffs.
San Antonio FC Defender Joshua Yaro was trying to hang onto the positives after the draw last week. “There are positives to take away from the match, especially earning a point on the road. That’s always a positive sign, but it’s one that our group isn’t too happy about as we came to get three points. We are at a point in the season where we have to earn the maximum amount of points. It was a good effort from the boys, especially after going down a man and seeing the game out. It was a good performance and now that’s done and we look forward to our next game against Tulsa.”
For Tulsa, they are playing their second home match in five days as they hosted Orange County over the weekend, dropping a 1-0 result. Tulsa has not had a good season. They are 16th out of 18 teams and they have a negative 22 goal differential, easily one of the worst in all of USL Championship. And they are already eliminated from playoff contention.
That said, they have had some good individual performers. Midfielder Rodrigo Da Costa leads the team with 9 Goals and 9 Assists, while Defender Luca Lobo has 7 Goals. Former SAFC Forward AJ Ajeakwa has 2 Assists.
Another former SAFC player, Defender Cyprian Hedrick, is having another phenomenal year. He far and away leads Tulsa in Clearances with 151. He has also scored a goal.
Two keepers have appeared for Tulsa in 2019. Mason Stajduhar has 15 of those appearances and earned two clean sheets. Sean Lewis has appeared 13 times with one clean sheet. Their 58 goals conceded as a team is third worst in USL Championship West.
SAFC has not been good on the road all season long. It has been the common refrain all year. But they can not afford a repeat of the Tacoma away game where the worst team in the West blew them away by four goals.
If SAFC wants to be a playoff team, they have to take advantage of their remaining games. It's a fortunate stretch when you look at the standings. Four of their last five matches will be against teams beneath them in the standings. All of those games should be considered winnable, even on the road. This is one of those games. If SAFC is good enough for the playoffs, they’ll find way to earn a victory on Wednesday night.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC (10-8-11) at Tulsa Roughnecks (5-5-19)
ONEOK Field, Wednesday September 25th, 2019
Kickoff 7:00pm Central Time
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Road Record 2-3-9
Tulsa Roughnecks– 2019 Home Record 4-3-6
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the 11th all-time meeting between the two clubs including one meeting in the Open Cup and once in USL Playoffs. Any way you slice it, San Antonio has dominated the series. San Antonio is 5-2-1 against Tulsa in league play. Tulsa did win the series last year, earning a Draw and a Win against SAFC in 2018. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in May at Toyota Field. SAFC are 6-2-2 against them all time.
5/18/19 @ SA, D 1-1
9/25/19 @ TUL
San Antonio and Tulsa played to a 1-1 draw on May 18th at Toyota Field. Brian Gomez scored for SAFC in the 5th minute but it was negated by a Matt Cardone own goal just seven minutes later. Neither team could break the tie.
Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
…if they take care of business against a team that is inferior to them, road game or not. It’s not quite desperation time for SAFC, but they can’t afford to play down to bad teams at this stage of the schedule.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER