As Head coach Alen Marcina and San Antonio FC pieces together their 2020 roster, we begin to speculate who the strikers will be. What we know for a fact: none of the forwards from the 2019 season will be returning. While none have been confirmed, (we did not reach out to SAFC) these could be the strikers that SAFC could be signing in the coming days. Optimally, SAFC would likely sign three forwards for the upcoming season, so let’s look in into the hypothetical magic ball and see if we can make sense of the “silly season”
Note: As the writing of this article, these players were not under contract according to the USL transfer tracker on https://www.uslchampionship.com/transfer-tracker
Christian Eissele – last club: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Had 5 goals in 29 appearances for the Energy in 2019, spent one season with Sacramento Republic and also scored five goals in 25 appearances. Had a very successful season with FF Jaro with 11 goals in 27 games during the 2017 season. SAFC would need Eissele to be closer to the FF Jaro numbers to make an impact as he is 27 years old and hitting the prime age for forwards and at 6′ 2″ has height advantage over some center backs.
Christiano François– last club: Ottawa Fury
8 goals last season (personal high) with an Ottawa team that made the playoffs. The Fury’s rights were sold as a deal to Miami FC to go USL Championship, leaving the players in Ottawa without a job. He is 26 years old but has yet to score double digit goals in a season.
Faris Pemi Moumbagna – last club: Bethlehem Steel (now Philadelphia Union II)
19 year old from Cameroon with high ceiling and great potential, scored 14 goals in 38 appearance over the last two seasons with the Steel. At 6′ 1″ also has height to battle it out with the tall center backs in the USL Western Conference
Sammy Ochoa – last club: Las Vegas Lights
10 goals in 2019 with Las Vegas. At 33 years old, he is a familiar name to the hard core fans of the USL. Played a few seasons with Tulsa and has been in the USL since 2014, played two seasons with the Seattle Sounders. At 6′ 0″ and a stocky frame, Ochoa still has potential for another double digit goal scoring season. Ochoa will be 34 in September, will he be fit enough to endure the brutal USL schedule in 2020 remains to be seen.
Dominic Oduro – last club: Charlotte Independence
A native of Ghana, Oduro has played for eight MLS clubs before joing Charlotte in the USL, lots of experience and was effective with eight goals in 2019. Oduro is reaching elder statesman status as he will turn 35 in August.
Aldo Quintanilla – last club: RGV Toros
24 year old from Nuevo Leon, Mexico scored five goals in 22 games last year for the Toros. Has potential to be a double digit goal scorer as he is fast and aggressive on the ball. Has experience playing in Liga MX with Tigres, Santos Laguna and Queretaro. Could be a good fit if he signs with SAFC and he would join Jesus Enriquez who also came from RGV.
Michael Seaton – last club: Orange County SC
The Jamaican is only 23 years old and has had an impressive last two season with OCSC. Scoring 24 goals in 56 games. Seems to be the best of the bunch that are available from the USL. Has 14 caps and two goals with the Jamaican National Team.
Yevgeni Eugene Starikov – last club: Indy Eleven
The Ukrainian version of Frank Lopez (short and built like a tank), born in Odessa played seven seasons in Russia most notable for Zenit St. Petersburg, spent one season with the New York Cosmos before joining Indy where he scored six goals in 30 appearances.
Leon Taylor – last club: Tampa Bay Rowdies
The Dallas Texas native attended UIW Cardinals and would be familiar with the city of San Antonio. Has played with Laredo Heat, Midland-Odessa Soccers FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies. The 26 year old scored four goals in 20 games for the Rowdies at 6′ 3″ is the tallest of the forwards mentioned. Could make for a nice homecoming of sorts for Taylor.
Jose Villarreal – last club: Las Vegas Lights
26 year old from Inglewood, California has played at the youth level with the USMNT. Spent five seasons with the LA Galaxy, and had one goal in 16 games for the Lights in 2019. Villareal is versatile, able to play both the attacking midfield position and well as second striker.
Will one of these strikers sign with San Antonio FC or does SAFC have someone else in mind from the USL or outside the league. Join the conversation in the comments section and let us know what you think!