Time to dust the cobwebs off folks, the 2017 USL regular season is upon us!
San Antonio FC enters their second season with several new key pieces on their roster, while retaining almost all of their most important players from 2016. I broke down the key moves for SB Nation’s USL Preview earlier this week, but the short version is that the defense and midfield improved significantly.
SAFC will start the season with a huge task facing RGV in the Toros’ brand-new HEB Park. RGV and SAFC played four times in 2016 with SAFC coming away with only a single point from the series. The timing couldn’t have been worse for the Alamo City club as Houston Dynamo are among some of the MLS clubs observing the international break, resulting in the sending-down of several MLS contract players.
The caliber of the new-look 2017 SAFC squad will be tested from the start. But if the veteran-laden defense can hold up against a tough opponent, SA could come away with valuable road points to start the season.
Match Details: Game One. Edinburg, TX. Sunday 3/26/2017. Kickoff 6:00 CDT
How to Watch: SanAntonioFC.com, USL Match Center
Keys for SAFC: Sebastian Ibeahga, Cyprian Hedrick, and Ben Newnam join returning 2016 SAFC players Greg Cochrane, Stephen McCarthy, and Matt Cardone to build one of the most experienced defenses in USL. If The Beard and crew can hold RGV to a goal or less, Billy Forbes and the midfield should be able to ensure that SA leaves with at least one point.
Player to Watch: Cesar Elizondo is expected to be the tip of the spear for the SAFC attack. The controversial departure of Franck Tayou has raised questions about the striker position in this squad. If Elizondo can start the season on the front foot, it will go a long way to ease the concerns of fans who are worried about another season short of goals.
Score Prediction: RGVFC 1-1 SAFC