Toyota Field, San Antonio
San Antonio FC entered the 106th US Open Cup with the first ever meeting with the NPSL side Laredo Heat SC. As per US Open Cup tournament rules SAFC entered in the second round along with the participating USL clubs. Laredo Heat SC was a Round One winner over Brazos Valley Calvary FC 1-0.
San Antonio FC came in as the favorites as the Laredo Heat were looking for a “cupset” in this one. Laredo Heat had success in the US Open Cup in the past. The Heat made a run in the US Open Cup in 2014 that saw them beat NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers and hang tough with the MLS’s Houston Dynamo and eventually lost a tough, close match 1-0. San Antonio FC on the other hand came in with an unbeaten streak of four at home and success at home in the US Open Cup. The lone loss at home in US Open Cup play was last year when SAFC fell 1-0 to FC Dallas in the Fourth Round.
San Antonio FC had several changes to the starting XI, being in the middle of a three match stretch over eight days. Some notables were Lance Laing and Ever Guzman making the start.
SAFC controlled much of the match and had several impressive runs to goal, Laredo Heat did not make it easy for SAFC to attack the box as Laredo played a physical pressing style. The first goal came in the 17′ minute when the Cameroonian defender Pascal Eboussi came in on a header that connected from a perfectly placed corner from Jack Barmby.
The second goal was scored in the 41′ minute when Jack Barmby’s left footed cross found Ever “Cheno” Guzman and smashed a shot into the crossbar but the ball found its way behind the goal line. That’s all SAFC needed as they won 2-0. Jack Barmby was named player of the match with his two assists.
Youth Movement. The Second Round of the US Open Cup saw some youngster make their debuts. Jose Gallegos (on an academy contract) came in the 52′ minute for Crisitian Parano who appeared nicked up. Eboussi was subbed by another youngster Carson Price, who was part of the Houston Dynamo youth system. The much anticipated professional debut of Leo Torres happened in the 76′ minute as Torres came in for Billy Forbes. All three youngster played well and impressed many.
San Antonio FC, with the victory, is now 6-3 overall in US Open Cup play. Up next in the US Open Cup is a third round date with Central Texas rival Austin Bold at Bold Stadium on May 29th at 7:30 PM. The first ever meeting between the two clubs was in USL regular season play and Austin was the winner 1-0.