San Antonio FC (1-0-1) played a talented Swope Park Rangers (2-0-1) team to a draw Saturday night at Toyota Field. SAFC’s lone goal was put in the back of the net by midfielder / forward Danny Garcia, assisted by midfielder Carlos Alvarez.
But it wasn’t the assist that impressed me most about Alvarez Saturday night. His best moment of the night wasn’t his play at all, though he was solid throughout the game on both sides of the ball. He created chances, helping to move the ball especially well along the left side of the formation in the first half. A performance that he should be proud of in the team’s first home game.
What impressed me most happened after 90+ minutes had come to a close. Talking to the media from his locker, Alvarez repeatedly and without qualification took responsibility for a mistake that allowed Swope Park Rangers to score just over 70 seconds into the match.
“I had a hiccup in the first minute,” Alvarez said. “But the resilience of this team is unbelievable. I’m proud of my teammates and I can say they helped me get back up. We got a tie obviously and we were shooting for a win, but the resilience of this team is the main thing… We learn from this and keep going forward.”
When asked about the energy while being down a goal for the first time in club history, the 25 year old Los Angeles native continued, “We stick together. Whoever makes a mistake, today it was my fault, I’m taking responsibility on this one. It was my fault, but again we were able to move forward. They picked me up. We knew if we went down we were going to stick together.”
When asked about the record-breaking attendance at Toyota Field, Alvarez was clear that the support didn’t stop with his teammates.”I’m so thankful for the crowd. Hopefully they come back again for the next home match. They came out, the city came to support us, and we loved it. Hopefully we showed them a great show and they keep coming.”
From the friendly confines of Toyota Field, SAFC pack up for a trip to Southern California to face LA Galaxy II (2-0-2) Wednesday and Orange County Blues FC (0-2-1) Saturday. Los Dos are currently at the top of the table in the Western Conference boasting 8 points through 4 games and the highest goals for (9) and goal differential (5) in the West.
On going on the road for an extended time, Alvarez said, “At the end of the day its what we do. We’re pros at it. We need to go out there and try to do our best. That’s the only thing we can promise is to try and do our best and perform the way we perform.”