In his first professional year, San Antonio FC defender Sam McBride is showing he has what it takes to excel in USL play.
The 21 year old North Carolina native graduated in 2015 from Elon University. Like several of the players on the SAFC roster, he spent time playing under SAFC head coach Darren Powell when Powell held the same position at Elon University.
Now at his first professional club, McBride has been on the field for all 540 minutes that the club has played this season. Only full back Greg Cochrane and goalkeeper / captain Josh Ford also fit that statistic.
While his presence might not be felt directly on the scoresheet, McBride has been a valuable asset on defense helping to hold down the fort in situations where other SAFC players are upfield attacking. The trust that Coach Powell and the rest of the players have in their rookie center back has been clear throughout the season.
“Sam hasn’t surprised me,” Powell said while speaking with Pitch Black The Podcast. “Sam I’ve known for a long time so it doesn’t surprise me. When the opportunity came to coach in San Antonio he was a center back that I thought would be under the radar for several teams…He’s one of the few players around that you can really trust his ability in the air. He’s going to go up there and win the ball.”
Living up to his reputation of expecting perfection, Powell continued “He still needs to get better. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but he’s heading in the right direction as a first year professional player.”
McBride is part of a very strong SAFC defense that usually includes fellow center-back Stephen McCarthy and full backs Bobby Moseley, Greg Cochrane, and Milton Palacios. The club hasn’t given up more than one goal in any game this season, but McBride isn’t patting himself on the back just yet.
When asked about only giving up one goal or less in each match so far, McBride said, “Its good we haven’t given up more than one (per game), but we also only have one clean sheet as well. So we only have one clean sheet through six games which to me isn’t good enough. I think we can improve upon that.”
McBride and the rest of San Antonio FC will have another chance for a clean sheet this Saturday at Toyota Field as the club hosts rivals Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. More information can be found at SanAntonioFC.com