Image: Darren Abate, USL
SAFC will look to bring at least one result home from their Pacific Northwest road trip when they take on Portland Timbers 2 at Providence Park on Wednesday night.
The first leg of the journey yielded a 3-2 loss against Seattle Sounders FC 2, a match in which SAFC was overrun. SAFC saw their four-match win streak come to a sudden halt, though they have a 3-0-2 record in 2018 coming off a loss.
“We know we’re better than how we played (Saturday), so we need to go out on Wednesday and prove again why we’re a playoff team,” said SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
When the two sides met in San Antonio on June 2, Portland was flying high and SAFC was struggling to push up the USL Western Conference standings. A dominant first half from SAFC yielded no goals, then Portland took the lead early in the second half from the penalty spot before midfielder Omar Gordon and forward Alex Bruce scored late to give SAFC a 2-1 win.
Since seeing their lead slip in San Antonio, Portland has gone 4-6-1 over a rough stretch in which they both scored and conceded oodles of goals, and their only two clean sheets in that time bookended the stretch. However, a 2-0 win away to Swope Park Rangers most recently, coupled with a five-match home stand, may lift the spirits of both fans and players alike.
Coming home may not be such a good thing for Portland though. At 5-6-0 on the season in home matches, their performances at Providence Park are hit-and-miss, and they’ve lost five of their last six at home. SAFC did recently escape from Oklahoma City with a well-earned 2-1 result over Energy FC for their second away win of 2018, but their away record is still questionable at 2-4-4.
“We’ll look at certain aspects on both sides of the ball and improve that as we head into Wednesday’s game,” said SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell. “We have to make sure the players understand their roles in the team and that they can execute within the game.”
It behooves SAFC to get something from Wednesday’s match as their schedule will get no easier in the coming weeks. Six of their next eight matches after Wednesday are away, and three of their next five matches are against teams currently in the USL West’s top four.
Portland Timbers 2
Record: 11-10-3 (36 pts, 6th place) | Form: LWDLW | Previous match 2-0 win at Swope Park Rangers
Card Accumulation Warnings: Eryk Williamson – 4
San Antonio FC
Record: 9-6-7 (34 pts, 7th place) | Form: WWWWL | Previous match 3-2 loss at Seattle Sounders FC 2
Card Accumulation Warnings: Cesar Elizondo, Mikey Lopez, Pecka, Cyprian Hedrick, Diego Restrepo – 4
Two Ten Soccer Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Restrepo; King, Hedrick, Roushandel, Cochrane; Lopez, Ward; Seth, Bryant, Murphy; Bruce
Jonathan Check: Timbers 2 1-1 SAFC
Larry Leathers: Timbers 2 ?-? SAFC
Jose Mario Jimenez: Timbers 2 0-2 SAFC
Kyle Mahnke: Timbers 2 ?-? SAFC
How to watch: ESPN+, 9:30 p.m. CT
Follow along on social media: #PORvSA @TwoTenSoccer @checkjfooty @LarryLeathers87 @Kyle_Mahnke