San Antonio FC will travel to Conroe, Texas, for the first chapter of its 2017 US Open Cup run on Wednesday against Houston Dutch Lions FC.
SAFC is coming off a scoreless draw with Seattle Sounders FC 2 which extended their unbeaten streak to nine matches. The club can make that record-breaking run extend into double digits and transcend competitions with a win against Dutch Lions FC. The club will also look to put lower-division opposition to the sword offensively after being held scoreless for the first time in 2017 Saturday against Seattle.
Houston Dutch Lions FC will begin their National Premier Soccer League season on Saturday but already defeated NTX Rayados 3-1 on May 10 in the first round of the Open Cup. They scored two goals only 64 seconds apart toward the start of the second half in their first ever Open Cup match. The club was also the NPSL’s South Central Conference champion in 2016.
SAFC’s last Open Cup outing was a 4-0 demolition at the hands of the Houston Dynamo after overcoming Corinthians FC of San Antonio and the Des Moines Menace in previous rounds. The loss in Houston remains SAFC’s worst ever, but the high-flying side of this season seems highly unlikely to come up so short even against higher-caliber opposition like the Dynamo if they advance that far in the competition.
Conroe, TX. 5/17/2017. Kickoff 7:00 CDT
How to Watch: @HDLFCGamecast should post a link to the stream
Keys for SAFC: Though Dutch Lions FC hasn’t begun their NPSL campaign yet, their conference title last year and three goals May 10 against NTX Rayados indicate the match won’t be a walk in the park. SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell hasn’t made considerable changes for the Open Cup in the past though, so a backline near or at full strength is likely and should keep the home side at bay like it has so many sides in the USL. Besides that, SAFC has proven to be more than capable of scoring goals despite being held scoreless in their match Saturday, so they’ll likely score a few and that should be enough.
Player to Watch: Whether Powell changes his lineup considerably or not, a game like this is perfect for midfielder Devin Vega. The young San Antonio native has shown clever play and footwork in a number of cameos this season, so deploying that talent anywhere near goal could see SAFC run rampant and give the exciting young prospect more experience.
Pitch Black News Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Restrepo; Newnam, Ibeagha, Roushandel, Cochrane; Reed, Niño; Tyrpak, Vega, Forbes; Ajeakwa
Jonathan Check: SAFC 4-0 HDLFC
Jose Mario Jimenez: SAFC 5-0 HDLFC
Aaron Marvel: SAFC ?-? HDLFC
Jesus Miguel Garcia: SAFC 3-0 HDLFC