An old rival comes to town as Tampa Bay Rowdies return to Toyota Field. The last time Tampa played in San Antonio, the Alamo City was still an NASL market. The Florida club was the first opponent the former tenants, NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions, faced at Toyota Field; a 2-0 Tampa Bay victory.
The new club will look to fare better in their first meeting with the Rowdies. Tampa currently holds second place in the Eastern Conference, while San Antonio is looking to jump from 4th to 2nd with a decisive victory. Tampa is undefeated in their last five matches, but haven’t been as strong on the road as they have at home this season.
San Antonio currently sits in 4th place in the Western Conference standings. The Texas club is tied in points (55) with Reno and Swope Park, but is last in the first tiebreaker (wins) with a game in hand. If SAFC wants to move out of 4th, the club needs wins. They are very unlikely to pass Reno in the second tiebreaker (goal differential), so SA needs to get it done in points and wins or risk facing Didier Drogba and a dangerous Phoenix club in the first round of the playoffs.
Game Thirty. San Antonio, TX. 10/7/2017. Kickoff 7:30pm CDT. #SAvTBR
How to Watch: USL Match Center, USLSoccer.com
Keys for SAFC: At this point, San Antonio needs to play not only for the win, but for the goal differential. I hope to see a high-octane attack that relies heavily on the defensive prowess and box to box ability of the central defenders and midfielders.
Player to Watch: As we’ve talked about many times on the podcast, SAFC hasn’t had a goal come from the center forward since July 1st. While any goal is a good goal, it would be great to see one come from Ever Guzman as teams adjust to try to shut down Billy Forbes, Kris Tyrpak, and Omar Gordon.
Pitch Black News Projected Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Restrepo; O’Ojong, McCarthy, Ibeagha, Cochrane; Roushandel; Tyrpak, Elizondo, Reed, Forbes; Guzman
Kyle Mahnke: SA 1-1 Tampa Bay
Jonathan Check: SA 2-1 Tampa Bay
Jose Mario Jimenez: SA 3-0 Tampa Bay