For the second time in eight days, San Antonio FC (9-0-2, 29pts) and Swope Park Rangers (4-4-0, 12pts) will face off in USL league play. A 53rd minute goal from midfielder Mark O’Ojong was the difference when the teams met last Friday in Kansas City.
SAFC is currently on a 5 match clean sheet streak going back to April 28th. The streak appeared to be in jeopardy when Swope Park dominated possession in the closing minutes of the previous match, but the SAFC defense held firm. Goalkeeper Diego Restrepo has yet to concede at Toyota Field since joining the Alamo City club this season.
San Antonio’s defense is only gaining strength as center back Cyprian Hedrick appears to be at full health, giving head coach Darren Powell four center backs to choose from that could likely start for almost any other club in USL. One of the center backs being recognized for his work is USL Player of the Month nominee Sebastien Ibeagha.
As an “MLS 2” team, Swope Park Rangers is not eligible to compete in the U.S. Open Cup. Saturday’s rematch against San Antonio will be their first match since their 1-0 loss at home, which broke their home undefeated streak dating back to the 2016 season. USL standouts Kharlton Belmar and Kevin Oliveira lead the club with four goals and two goals respectively, and will almost certainly be looking to add to their tally against the league leaders. 26 different players have made appearances in Swope Park’s 8 matches this year, making their starting XI tough to predict, but every player is certainly looking for revenge and to topple the western conference powerhouse.
Image: Jesus Miguel Garcia / Pitch Black News
Game Twelve. San Antonio, TX. 6/3/2017. Kickoff 7:30 CDT
How to Watch: SanAntonioFC.com, USL Match Center
Keys for SAFC: “possession with a purpose” is the phrase to describe San Antonio FC’s playstyle. Swope Park likes to hold possession which will work well for San Antonio FC, as long as the Texas club can win the attacking battles on the counter.
Player to Watch: Billy Forbes had an MVP caliber start to the season but was held scoreless in the month of May. One goal could net the home club three points, and there’s no one better to score it than the fan favorite winger.
Pitch Black News Projected Starting XI (4-5-1): Restrepo; Newnam, Ibeagha, Hedrick, Cochrane; Tyrpak, Reed, Castillo, Pecka, Forbes; Ajeakwa
Kyle Mahnke SAFC 1-0 SPR
Jonathan Check SAFC 2-0 SPR
Jose Mario Jimenez –
Aaron Marvel SAFC 2-1 SPR
Jesus Miguel Garcia SAFC 1-1 SPR