As if the announcement of a name, a crest, team colors, and season ticket holder rewards wasn’t enough to make the night truly special, San Antonio FC announced the signings of four players who all have a history in San Antonio. This brings the total player count announced up to 6, meaning we’re more than half way to fielding a complete XI man team at least.
So lets get to the players
Photo Credit: Goal.com
I’ll start with one of the two players that I specifically said San Antonio FC wouldn’t sign, Rafa Castillo. I’m truly happy to be wrong however as Rafa was one of the truly special players that the Scorpions had in their time here. The 35 year old Columbian midfielder had 17 goals in his 46 appearances with the NASL club. He’s a player that is clearly not here to “be developed”, but rather win another championship. At 35 Rafa may not have many miles left in his tank, but he’s a very welcome sight to the SA community for however long he’ll be here.
Photo Credit: Trinity University
Another former Scorpion is joining SAFC as goalkeeper Matt Cardone was also present Thursday night. Cordone made 4 appearances with the Scorpions in 2015, his first professional season. Before his time at Toyota Field, Cardone played for Trinity University from 2011-2014. Like defender Stephen McCarthy, Cardone is a Texas native having graduated from MacArthur High School in San Antonio. The 22 year old is the newest branch in the Orlando tree that has made its way to the club, as he went on a trial with Orlando City SC before signing with the Scorpions. The 6’3″ keeper must have really impressed Powell and Holt while they were in Orlando for him to have been brought on board with SAFC so quickly.
Photo Credit: Trinity University
Joining his former Trinity teammate is midfielder Victor Araujo. The 24 year old Brazilian played in the Belgian second division league before coming to San Antonio to attend Trinity where he would be named a D-III All-American. Araujo scored 20 goals in 43 appearances with Trinity. “Victor is a very exciting young prospect with some very good attacking tendencies,” Coach Powell says in a press release.
Photo Credit: Austin Aztex
The final San Antonio player announced Thursday night was University of the Incarnate Wood product Max Gunderson. Gunderson, a 26 year old right back, attended UIW from 2008-2011. After playing for OKC Energy and Laredo Heat, Gunderson spent the 2015 season with the Austin Aztex who are currently on hiatus. Historically not a scoring threat, Gunderson could be a key player defensively playing alongside McCarthy on the backline. In a press release, Coach Powell praised the experience that Gunderson brings saying “Max is a player who has experience in the USL and has done well in the league for multiple clubs. He will bring us good defensive depth as we build our roster for the upcoming season.”
So there we have it, six players for a team set to begin pre-season play later this month. As director Tim Holt brought up during a radio interview today for Ticket 760, the moves we’re seeing now have been in motion for some time so there are most likely more deals being worked out at the moment. With a brand revealed, stadium in place, and coach and director working behind the scenes, USL Sa….I mean San Antonio FC is left with just the task of filling out its roster and coaching staff before their season begins in April.