All images: Steve Aibel, LittleOrcaSports.com / Pitch Black News
As the regular season nears its end, the USL Western Conference table is just about as close as it can be. Coming into Sunday’s match, San Antonio FC sat in 9th, one spot out of playoff contention, with 34 points. Arizona United SC sat 12th with 30 points. With only a handful of games left, the 3 points up for grabs meant the world to both clubs.
Alvarez on the attack
From the start both sides made clear they were not interested in a draw. Both showed some of the most determined attacking either has shown this season. A Long Tan goal (9’) and a Carlos Alvarez goal (43’) would see things even going into half time.
Tayou showed his speed, but wasn’t able to tally another goal
The 1-1 scoreline would hold to the final whistle despite strong attempts from both sides. In his first match at Toyota Field since his U.S. Open Cup injury, Shawn Chin had a strong chance in the closing seconds but couldn’t convert.
Shawn Chin made his first home appearance since coming off injury
The draw puts San Antonio FC back into the playoff slots at 8th place, but to say it’s shaky is an understatement. Orange County, Seattle, and Salt Lake City all trail San Antonio by three points or less. With four matches remaining in the regular season, draws aren’t going to be enough for the Texas club to maintain their playoff dreams. Three of the remaining matches are against teams lower than SA on the table, but with the final match of the regular season being against rivals RGV, SA are all but forced to earn wins going forward.
San Antonio FC Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Cardone; Gunderson, Bradnock-Brennan, McBride, Cochrane; Salazar; Alvarez, Garcia (Chin), Castillo ©, Morgan (Okiomah); Tayou (Johnson)