Image: Steve Aibel, Pitch Black News / Little Orca Sports
Well on the plus side, the game against in-state rivals RGV FC Toros was exciting. Unfortunately the first match of the South Texas Derby resulted in SAFC’s first loss at home.
With 8 days to rest and reload, San Antonio FC (2-3-2) now travels north to face Oklahoma City Energy FC (1-1-3) as both clubs look to get away from the bottom of the table. This will be the first of three matches between the two clubs. The second match is actually the next league match for SAFC, as OKC travel to Toyota Field on Saturday May 21.
With back to back matchups, its possible that the clubs will get to know each other very well, but with OKC being the affiliate for MLS club FC Dallas we never really know what squad they’ll bring with them on any given night. Cody Gamond from Big D Soccer, SB Nation’s FC Dallas blog, joined us on the podcast this week for a preview of OKC. He admitted that the movement between the USL and MLS clubs is fairly frequent, so we’ll see if independent club San Antonio FC will be asked to battle players on MLS contracts this week.
Shawn Chin takes a shot at Toyota Field
Match Details: Game eight. Taft Stadium. Oklahoma City, OK. Sun. 5/15/2016. Kickoff at 6pm Central
Keys for SAFC: Finish. There have been so many chances created that have been stopped inside the 18 yard box. If SAFC attacking players can capitalize on the crosses from Cochrane and chances created by Jason Johnson and Carlos Alvarez, the floodgates could open on scoring. All easier said than done of course, but its starting to become very noticeable.
Player To Watch: Greg Cochrane. Again, for similar reasons as last week. Cochrane gets the ball up the field and into the box. Despite the bad pass that gave RGV the winner last week, SAFC may not have even been in a position to get points had it not been for the former Chicago Fire full back. Look for Cochrane to create chances from the outside and Alvarez to push from the inside.
Pitch Black Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ford (c); Cochrane, McCarthy, McBride, Moseley; Thuriere, Castillo; Johnson, Alvarez, Araujo; Chin
If Ford is healthy, he’ll back back in goal. I expect to see a similar Starting XI that we have for the last few matches. We could see some players come off early or not start in preparation for the grueling schedule coming up, but I’d expect a strong XI in this game to “right the ship” a bit. Big candidates would be Cochrane, who has played every minute of SAFC league play, McCarthy, Castillo, Alvarez, and Johnson. Palacios, Bradnock-Brennan, Reed, Salazar, Garcia, and Sanchez are the most likely to see increased playtime due to the busy schedule.
Score Prediction: OKC Energy FC 1-1 San Antonio FC This early in the season, a team being near the bottom of the table doesn’t really mean much (see: OC Blues FC a few weeks ago). I think OKC could be more of a challenge than their record shows, especially with Sebastian Dalgaard in form and a roster potentially boosted by FC Dallas players.