All Images: Darren Abate / USL
Two conflicting play styles will meet Saturday night when San Antonio FC hosts Swope Park Rangers in the Alamo City club’s fourth USL match of 2018. In total, the two clubs will meet three times throughout the 2018 USL Regular Season.
The USL side of Sporting Kansas City, Swope Park Rangers is a club that has always given San Antonio FC trouble. Under new head coach Paulo Nagamura, Swope Park has climbed to the top of the Western Conference table early, thanks in part to a midweek victory over Colorado Springs. The Kansas City squad one of the most potent attacking units in USL so far, led by familiar foe and current Player of the Month nominee Kharlton Belmar. 15 year old Gianluca Busio made his debut earlier this week, becoming the seventh youngest player to debut in USL or MLS history, per the Sporting KC. All told, five academy products took part in the Swope Park victory against Colorado Springs. 8 Sporting KC players were loaned down for the midweek home battle, meaning we could see a very different squad at Toyota Field.
San Antonio FC is close to shaking some early injuries that have plagued the squad. All players appeared to be participating in the media portion of training Thursday, including Cesar Elizondo and Stephen McCarthy who have yet to make their 2018 regular season debuts. Full back Greg Cochrane also participated, though his status for playing a full 90 on Saturday is uncertain. Additional reinforcements come in the way of Sonny Guadarrama and Jose Escalante, with Sonny returning from injury and Escalante available for selection for the first time this season. The squad will be without leading scorer Mikey Lopez after the midfielder picked up two yellow cards in LA last week. Lopez is one yellow card away from missing a second match due to accumulation.
San Antonio’s reputation as a defensive stronghold will be put to the test as the attack-heavy Swope Park visit on an unseasonably cold evening.
Swope Park Rangers
Form: 3-1-0 WWLW, previous match 1-0 vs Colorado Springs Switchbacks
San Antonio FC
Form: 1-1-1 LWD, previous match 0-0 at LA Galaxy II
Suspensions: Mikey Lopez
Two Ten Soccer Projected Starting XI
Images: San Antonio FC
Jonathan Check: San Antonio 1-1 SPR
Jesus Miguel Garcia: San Antonio – SPR
Larry Leathers: San Antonio – SPR
Jose Mario Jimenez: San Antonio 2-0 SPR
Kyle Mahnke: San Antonio 0-0 SPR
How to watch: USL Match Center, 7:30pm central time (Beginning next week all matches will be streamed via ESPN+ subscription service)
Follow along on social media: #SAvSPR @TwoTenSoccer @CheckJFooty @LarryLeathers87 @Kyle_Mahnke