This week San Antonio FC (10-1-7) head west to face Didier Drogba's Phoenix Rising FC (6-6-4) in a late night thriller.
Having gone winless in their last four matches, San Antonio FC could be looking to change things up on the road against the 11th place team. The Texas club's defense has held strong all year, but generating results in the final third has been a struggle at times. SAFC did manage to get 2 goals past league-leaders Real Monarchs SLC last week, but a questionable pk call and a late defensive lapse cost SA 2 points at home. Look for changes in the attacking third as the club attempts to get away from draws and back to their winning ways.
Since his arrival, Phoenix has been Drogba's team both on and off the field. Despite only playing in 7 matches so far this year, the former EPL star leads his team in shots (33) and is tied with former SAFC forward Jason Johnson in team-leading goals (4). The club is significantly better at home (5-2-1) than on the road (1-4-3) meaning this match could be more of a challenge for SAFC than the first meeting between the two clubs earlier this year which saw SAFC take a 1-0 win at Toyota Field.
Image: Darren Abate / USL
Game Nineteen. Scottsdale, AZ. 7/29/2017. Kickoff 10:00pm CDT
How to Watch: USL Match Center, USLSoccer.com
Keys for SAFC: Since his signing, the Phoenix attack seems to run directly through Didier Drogba. Slowing him down and containing former SAFC forward Jason Johnson should afford SAFC the chance to take home three points.
Player to Watch: The central defense is going to be tested against Phoenix's high-octane offense. If the two center backs and defensive midfielder(s) can slow the home side down in the final third, SAFC should be able to break the opposing defense.
Pitch Black News Projected Starting XI (4-5-1): Restrepo; Chin, McCarthy, Ibeagha, Cochrane; Tyrpak, Castillo, Ajeakwa, Reed, Forbes; Elizondo
Kyle Mahnke SAFC 2-1 PHX
Jonathan Check SAFC – PHX
Jose Mario Jimenez SAFC 2-2 PHX
Aaron Marvel SAFC 1-2 PHX
Jesus Miguel Garcia SAFC – PHX