After writing three of these in just a few days last week, it feels like an eternity since I’ve written a preview. In a similar vein, I’m sure the rest afforded to San Antonio FC (1-1-2) players given a full week between matches has been a welcome feeling.
Coming off the club’s first loss, SAFC will be looking to right the ship against Colorado Switchbacks FC (2-1-0) and get three points on their last road game for awhile. It won’t be easy though as they head into Fortress Sand Creek, as our friends at BackChat.net coined it, in the high altitude of Colorado Springs. The Switchbacks are currently sitting in 7th place in the West with 6 points, but have only played 3 matches so far.
After wining against OKC Energy and Arizona United in their first two matches, Colorado Springs is coming off of a loss to S2, who played several MLS contract players to help put out the dumpster fire of a season the USL side was having. An independent club like San Antonio, Colorado Springs is playing to win it all. If our boys can come away with even a point in the hostile environment, the road ahead is much smoother as 5 of their next 6 games (including a U.S. Open Cup match) are at Toyota Field.
Match Details: Game five. Switchbacks Stadium (aka Fortress Sand Creek). Sat. 4/23/2016. Kickoff at 2:30pm Central
Keys for SAFC: Find a way to play through the environment. The stadium may be rocking with a few thousand Colorado Springs supporters. There could be snow on the ground. But what is known is that its the highest elevation stadium the club will see. Despite that, SA has to find a way to fight through and get on the scoreboard.
Player To Watch: Josh Ford. The captain. The goal keeper. The man who will be tasked with keeping his back line in position and preventing the club from playing from behind. With unknown conditions ahead the defense will be even more important than usual, and that begins with Ford.
Official SAFC Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ford (c); Palacios, McCarthy, McBride, Moseley; Reed, Castillo; Garcia, Alvarez, Cochrane; Johnson
(A note about projected starting XI’s is that they are mandated by USL to be included in the team-provided media guides. While a projection is required, sticking to that projection is not. We could see some changes when the time comes.)
Pitch Black Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ford (c); Palacios, McCarthy, McBride, Moseley; Reed, Castillo; Garcia, Alvarez, Cochrane; Johnson
Well this is odd. My prediction is actually the same as the official projected Starting XI from the team. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Score Prediction: Colorado Springs 1-1 San Antonio FC With a week to recharge at home, I think our offensive ball movement will be back on track. The biggest challenge will be to see how the squad handles the altitude. I predict a low scoring game before the club comes home to rock Toyota Field again on April 30th.