All images: Steve Aibel, LittleOrcaSports.com / Pitch Black News
The only breaks San Antonio FC seem to be able to catch this year are those to their players’ bodies. The unlucky streak of injuries continues as captain / starting keeper Josh Ford (broken scapula) and starting center back Stephen McCarthy (broken elbow) have been ruled out for the season. They join forwards Victor Araujo and Shawn Chin, also expected out for the season.
As discussed this week, Matt Cardone and Sam McBride are capable replacements for the two lost veterans. But with more familiar faces expected to be out due to injury (Milton Palacios, Michael Reed, Jaques Francois) players like fullback Austin Dunker, center back Ryan Roushandel, and goalkeeper Lee Johnston are likely to make the 18 and possibly see time.
The squad looks to defend against Arizona
With some of their most experienced defensive players out, the normally staunch SAFC may look to play a more attack-focused soccer. Mid-season signings Franck Tayou and Cesar Elizondo have made an immediate impact and will look to continue their contributions against at Seattle 2 team with a -13 goal differential. While Gunderson, McBride and Cardone have proved their mettle this season, Tayou extending his lead as the club’s leading scorer may be the difference between making the playoffs and not.
Forward Cesar Elizondo celebrated with Tayou and Gunderson after scoring
Match Details: Game Twenty Three. San Antonio, TX. Saturday 8/20/2016. Kickoff 7:30PM CDT
How To Watch: SanAntonioFC.com , USL Match Center
Keys for SAFC: Another rainy day at Toyota Field is the least of the club’s issues as they look to overcome injuries. Players thrust into starting roles proving they’re capable will be the difference in this match.
Player To Watch: Captain Rafa Castillo must be a loud voice from the midfield to keep what’s expected to be yet another new starting XI on the same page. With Ford and McCarthy out, the veterans must step up to keep the squad together.
Pitch Black Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Cardone; Gunderson, McBride, Bradnock-Brennan, Cochrane; Salazar, Thuriere; Alvarez, Castillo (c), Elizondo; Tayou
Score Prediction: Seattle Sounders 2 FC 1-3 San Antonio FC