The city of San Antonio has many missions [Concepción, San José, San Juan and Espada], but the only missions in the mind of the San Antonio FC organization are to play attractive football, earn a playoff spot and be awarded a much coveted MLS expansion spot.
It is too early to call this team a playoff contender, but if Coach Powell can maintain the momentum and level of play they’ve shown in their first two games for the remainder of the season, San Antonio will be one formidable team. “It’s a team effort. We talk about how we want to play defensively and how we want to attack during the course of the week and we plan for those moments. All in all it’s a collective team effort.” said SAFC’s Coach Powell after the game, and San Antonio have certainly look lively and solid in their first two games.
SAFC’s goalkeeper Matt Cardone has yet to retrieve the ball from his own net, a sign of the team’s defensive solidity. Key to the development of San Antonio’s defensive stability has been the acquisition of Pecka, who has been impressive with 12 interceptions and provides a much needed outlet for the defense and midfield as they look to build their game from the back. Using a 4-1-4-1 formation, Powell has built a low possession, counter-attacking team whose quick passing and speedy transitions have worked well against teams taking the initiative like the Toros and Los Dos.
“We’re looking to bring a fast-paced, attacking style, but also to have a team that’s adaptable to different situations in a game” said Coach Powell when he signed for San Antonio, not surprising since he grew up watching an exciting Nottingham Forest team under Brian Clough, who were noted for playing an attractive football which ultimately led them to win back to back European Cups in the late 70’s.
Powell certainly has the right weapons at his disposal to unleash his version of captivating attacking football, but they need to prove they can also take the initiative in games. Up next are the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, who today earned three points after the Tulsa Roughnecks FC forfeited their first game against Colorado for an ineligible player. The Switchbacks look far removed from the team who made the playoffs a season ago and look like a team whose only concern is to contain the opposition and catch them on the break.
It will be a good test for the SAFC to show they can be the adaptable team Powell wants them to be.