All images: Steve Aibel, LittleOrcaSports.com / Pitch Black News
Matt Cardone has been absolutely clutch when faced with stopping penalty kicks this season for San Antonio FC. But after a rare lapse in the defensive third last match in Kansas City, Cardone wasn’t able to stop the result-deciding Swope Park penalty kick in stoppage time.
#FearTheBeard will try for another clean sheet at home Sunday
San Antonio is fighting for a playoff spot with several teams grouped together. The 9th place Texas club got some help Saturday night as Sacramento downed 8th place Orange County Blues. Headed into their match Sunday San Antonio is tied with OC at 34 points on the season, though the California club has two fewer matches left to play. With such a crowded table, San Antonio needs to come away with three points at home against Arizona. The first tiebreaker is wins, then goal differential so San Antonio will need more than draws to stay in the hunt for a top 8 finish.
The club will do its best to put the disappointing previous result out of mind as they get Captain Rafa Castillo back off of a one game suspension for card accumulation. They’ll still be down Seba Thuriere (Haiti) and Manolo Sanchez (Puerto Rico) who are away on international duty, but the return of Jacques Francois and “out for the season” Shawn Chin will be a welcome sight for the home crowd.
Rafa celebrates at Toyota Field
Match Details: Game Twenty Six. San Antonio, TX. Sunday 9/4/2016. Kickoff 5:00PM CDT
How To Watch: SanAntonioFC.com , USL Match Center
Keys for SAFC: Adapting to an Arizona United side that was short one of their vital players, Luke Rooney, was an issue earlier in the season for SAFC. Rooney will again miss a match for card accumulation as he picked up his 8th on the season. The SAFC defense has to be ready for whatever AZU throws at them with the absence of Rooney.
Player To Watch: Jacques Francois and Franck Tayou have a special chemistry. The two connected for a goal earlier in the season as Francois found The Tank just in front of goal. A carbon copy of that goal almost occurred Wednesday in Kansas City, but Tayou was inches from being able to finish. If the dynamic players are on the same page Sunday, the north end of Toyota Field may have visibility issues from the mass amount of celebratory smoke being let off by the supporter groups.
Jacques and Franck connect for a goal at Toyota Field
Pitch Black Projected Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Cardone; Gunderson, McBride, Bradnock-Brennan, Cochrane; Salazar; Alvarez, Castillo, Da. Garcia, Morgan; Tayou
Score Prediction: San Antonio FC 3-2 Arizona United SC