San Antonio FC (7-0-1) looks to continue their unbeaten streak on Saturday as they face off against Seattle Sounders FC 2 (4-4-0) for the second time this season. The first match between the two clubs, part of San Antonio’s Cascadia road trip, was an exciting 90 minutes that resulted in a 3-2 San Antonio FC victory.
San Antonio FC winger Billy Forbes will look to continue his hot start after being awarded USL Player of the Month for the first six weeks of the season. Forbes is tied as league-leading goal scorer after putting 6 past opposing keepers this season. His three assists put him in a club-leading tie with Cesar Elizondo.
San Antonio will likely be without striker Cesar Elizondo who was subbed off during the club’s previous match against Sacramento Republic. The Texas club will also be without New England Revolution midfielder Zachary Herivaux who returned to his MLS club after joining San Antonio on loan earlier in the season. Goalkeeper Matt Cardone and midfielder Miggy Salazar are also expected to miss the match against S2, both to lower body injuries.
On a positive note, defender Cyprian Hedrick participated in training this week after missing the last seven matches to a lower body injury suffered in the season opening match at RGV. Fellow central defenders Sebastian Ibeagha and Stephen McCarthy have accumulated 4 yellow cards and 3 yellow cards respectively. If Ibeagha is carded this match and Hedrick is not match fit by next Saturday, San Antonio will be down to just 2 healthy central defenders when Phoenix Rising FC comes to Toyota Field.
With the match in Seattle being extremely competitive just a short time ago, Saturday’s rematch could prove to be heated from the start.
Image: Darren Abate / USL
Game Nine. San Antonio, TX. 5/13/2017. Kickoff 7:30 CDT
How to Watch: SanAntonioFC.com, USL Match Center
Keys for SAFC: S2 has proven to possess a potent attack, being held scoreless just once this season while banking two goals in each of their last three matches. Restrepo and the defense will once again be put to the test.
Player to Watch: If Cesar Elizondo misses the match as expected, Aly Hassan or AJ Ajeakwa are most likely to start as the striker. While Forbes is having an MVP quality start to the season, the strength of the attack has been the teamwork. Whoever slots in for Elizondo has big shoes to fill, though both strikers have done well in the minutes they’ve earned so far this season.
Pitch Black News Projected Starting XI (4-5-1): Restrepo; Newnam, Ibeagha, McCarthy, Cochrane; Tyrpak, Reed, Pecka, Castillo, Forbes; Ajeakwa
Kyle Mahnke SAFC 1-1 S2
Jonathan Check SAFC 2-1 S2
Jose Mario Jimenez SAFC 1-0 S2
Aaron Marvel SAFC 2-1 S2
Jesus Miguel Garcia SAFC 2-2 S2