San Antonio FC plays their second to last home match of the regular season on Saturday night as they will welcome Fresno Foxes FC into Toyota Field for their only appearance of 2019. San Antonio enters the match off a two-game road trip, and they’ll be right back out on the road for two more after this match. It is the third match for SAFC in the last nine days.
It has not been a good stretch for SAFC. After two road games, they will limp back home to Toyota Field having only gained one point. Now they'll have to pick themselves up after losing a heart breaking 4-3 game on Wednesday night in Tulsa that featured three lead changes, an hour long weather delay, and giving up a crushing game winner with just 3 minutes to play in the game. For the second year in a row, SAFC only managed to get one single point off a bad Tulsa team
There is no time for SAFC to feel sorry for themselves or to even reflect on past mistakes as one of the best teams in the league is coming to town Saturday night. SAFC will now find themselves desperate for a win to keep their playoff chances alive as only four games remain. SAFC is fading at the wrong time. They have suddenly lost 3 of their last 5 games.
Manager Darren Powell weighed in, saying “We have to make sure that we commit to 90 minutes on everything that we do and capitalize on the opportunities that we have while being strong defensively. It now comes down to the wire and there are still lots of points to play for, and we’ll be certain to play for those points.”
Fresno is starting their own two match road trip with this game. If anyone was unimpressed by their second place standing in the League, surely they got the attention of fans around USL last week when they put an end to Phoenix Rising’s record 20 match winning streak. They took down Rising FC 2-1 last weekend at Chukchansi Park. They also clinched a playoff spot with the win. Yes indeed, this Foxes team is for real.
Fresno has turned out to be one of the best teams in the West in large part due to their tremendous defense. Their 32 goals allowed is fourth best in USL Championship West. They also have 7 clean sheets on the year.
Fresno are not a super dynamic offensive team considering their standing on the league table. Their 53 goals scored are only 1 goal better than SAFC’s 52. That said, they did manage to score three goals in 14 minutes against SAFC back in June. They are lead offensively by a dangerous couple of Forwards. Forward Jamie Chavez leads the team with 12 Goals, and Forward Qudus Lawal has 10 Goals. Midfielder Jackson leads the team with 6 Assists. Chavez was named USL Championship Player of the Week on Tuesday for his performance against Phoenix.
In goal it’s all about CJ Cochran for the Foxes. He has all 29 appearances for the team and has made 71 saves while recording the aforementioned seven clean sheets. On defense Defender Ramon Del Campo easily paves the way for a unit that doesn’t give up many goals. He has 110 clearances – more than 30 clearances better than the next best Defender on the team.
Fresno has only been beaten 5 times this season, but two of those losses have come in their last 5 games. Despite their big win over Phoenix and a 5-0 thrashing of RGV in that same span, perhaps their armor is starting to show a few small cracks at the right time for SAFC.
This match will easily be the toughest of the two remaining home games for SAFC. It certainly won’t be an easy game but SAFC could state their case for a playoff spot if they can take down one of the best in USL Championship on their home ground. And really, they pretty much have to at this point. SAFC should play with confidence. Through 15 home games, they have only been defeated at Toyota Field twice.
The Matchup (W-D-L)
Fresno FC (16-8-5) at San Antonio FC (10-8-12)
Toyota Field, Saturday September 28, 2019
Current Form (W-D-L)
San Antonio FC - 2019 Home Record 8-5-2
Fresno FC – 2019 Road Record 6-4-4
All Time History (W-D-L)
Saturday will mark the fourth meeting between these two clubs as Fresno finishes their second season. SAFC lost for the first time in this matchup back in June. This match will decide who takes the series lead after two seasons of action. SAFC is 1-1-1 all-time against Fresno.
6/21/19 @ FRESNO, L 2-3
9/28/19 @ SA
SAFC lost their first ever match in this series back in June when Fresno took a 3-2 result. Bradford Jamieson and Cristian Parano scored second half goals for SAFC but it wasn’t enough to overcome a Jemal Johnson brace and three goals in 14 minutes for Fresno in the win.
Here are the match highlights:
SAFC Wins If :
…if they can find their legs after a tough stretch of games and play to their home form against one of the League’s best. Getting their Captain back from suspension should definitely help the cause.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER