All images: Steve Aibel, LittleOrcaSports.com / Pitch Black News

A tough break no-call for San Antonio FC was the difference in their first matchup against Arizona United last Saturday. The Texas club was downed when Arizona’s Tyler Blackwood managed to be just onside on a pass from Long Tan that resulted in the only goal of the match.

San Antonio has the chance to even the record as Arizona visits Toyota Field on what is expected to be a rainy evening. SAFC is not mathematically eliminated from playoffs, but anything less than a win at home could prove to be the nail in the coffin of the first-year club’s goal of making top 8 in the West.

The task is made even more difficult with the one game suspension of SA midfielder Taylor Morgan for yellow card accumulation and the return from suspension of Arizona’s Luke Rooney for the same offense.

OC 1-2340

 

Biko Brennan fends off an opponent at home

With Morgan suspended and Michael Reed expected to miss another game with a lower leg injury, the SA midfield is once again looking thin. We’ll likely see familiar faces in the starting XI, but we may see some names in the 18 who haven’t gotten much time so far this year. Game 9 Vancouver-0354

Forward Cesar Elizondo continues to prove his value as a mid-season signing

Match Details: Game Twenty Two. San Antonio, TX. Wednesday 8/17/2016. Kickoff 7:30PM CDT

How To Watch: SanAntonioFC.com , USL Match Center
Keys for SAFC: Between the weather and the play style of Arizona, San Antonio is going to have to overcome some big obstacles to earn more than a point at home. Generating attack from the core of the formation and playing aggressively are the only ways to keep fighting for a prized playoff spot.
Player To Watch: Rafa Castillo must be a loud voice from the midfield to keep what’s expected to be yet another new starting XI on the same page. While goalkeeper Josh Ford may be the captain, experienced players like Rafa and Carlos Alvarez will be tasked with keeping players with less SAFC time under their belts together.
Pitch Black Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ford(c); Gunderson, McCarthy, Bradnock-Brennan, Cochrane; Salazar, Thuriere; Alvarez, Castillo, Johnson; Elizondo
Score Prediction: Arizona United SC 1-2 San Antonio FC

Posted by Pitch Black News Staff

One Comment

  1. I don’t want to speak prematurely, but I’ve been thinking about his a lot lately… Despite the season we’re having I think we can finish top 4 in the west next year IF we keep a few key players and add contributors elsewhere.

    We have to keep the midfield combo of Rafa and Reed together. They are the key that starts our engine offensively. Their combo play sparked our unbeaten streak in the middle of the year and we just haven’t looked the same since they’ve traded off injuries.

    We have to keep and develop Francois. He might be the most dynamic forward on our roster, and I’d like to see him here for another year injury free and in the starting XI from game one.

    We have to do everything we can to keep McCarthy and McBride. If those dudes weren’t holding down our back line all season God only knows how much worse this year would’ve been.

    Finally, we’ve got to keep Ford. He is a gamer, a great leader and, in my biased opinion, the best keeper in professional american soccer not playing for an MLS team.

    I love Palacios, but I think we need an update on the defensive wing. He’s been injured a lot this year (and last year if I remember correctly) and I don’t see any reason to think he’ll be healthy for most of next season.

    We also need to update the wings of our midfield. Even when Rafa and Reed are on the pitch together, we lose the ball in the center third of the pitch too much for a team that has playoff aspirations. We need guys who can consistently receive passes from the middle, take the ball up the pitch and find their teammates to continue attacks.

    Can’t wait to watch some real live soccer in person tonight.

    Like

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