San Antonio FC has four full seasons under it’s belt and a number of excellent players have come through the ranks of the Military City USA club. While some appeared only a few matches while on loan; some have become part SAFC history through their performance and popularity. As we await the season to restart, the staff at Soy SAF decided to come up with a Top Ten All Time list of SAFC players.
Here are some the guidelines we used on deciding who made the Top Ten list. We gauged statistical records from the USL, number of times a player impacted a game, memorable moments and popularity with fans, finally we only considered performance with San Antonio FC. As with any list, some may feel the rankings could go different or maybe a SAFC player was left off. Of course we always welcome the conversation and debate, let the fun begin…..
10. Ethan Bryant – Midfielder – Seasons with SAFC: 2018-2019
Ethan Bryant made history with SAFC as the first ever homegrown signing quickly became a fan favorite whenever he went on the pitch. Ethan also has a great work ethic and humble spirit that makes him prime for a successful soccer career. Although he only made 16 appearances and had two goals with San Antonio FC, he become the youngest all time goal scorer for SAFC on September 29th, 2018 when he scored versus Seattle Sounders 2. Ethan made the move to Europe and is currently with Roeselare, in Belgium’s second division.
9. Billy Forbes – Midfielder – Seasons with SAFC: 2017, 2019
Billy Forbes played two separate seasons with San Antonio FC, he had an outstanding 2017 campaign with ten goals and nine assists and added three more goals and three assists in 2019. Forbes also sits second all time in the single season goal record for SAFC with his ten goals in 2017. Forbes has since signed with Austin Bold for the 2020 season.
8. Michael Reed – Midefielder – Seasons at SAFC: 2016-2017
Oh Captain, My Captain! Reed spent two seasons with SAFC was a named captain for 2017. He is a fierce and vocal leader which help lead SAFC to its best season ever thus far. His leadership and knowledge of the game is the reason why Reed lands on this list. He scored five goals in his two seasons with SAFC. In 2017, Reed had 3 goals and 41 interceptions as he played more of a defensive mid role.
7. Matt Cardone – Goalkeeper – Seasons at SAFC: 2016 to current
The last member of the original San Antonio FC 2016 roster. The local boy from Trinity is entering his fifth season with SAFC. A popular player among fans, Cardone is a very capable keeper and continues to improve. In 2019, he recorded 94 saves (seventh in the league) and seven clean sheets (tied for 13th in the USL) and a 1.67 Goals Against Average.
6. Cristian Parano – Midfielder – Seasons at SAFC: 2019 to current
Parano is a wunderkind from Argentina that made waves and earned the respect of USL defenses everywhere in the Western Conference. Coming in as a 19 year old from another country and first time living in the US, Parano quickly adjusted to his teammates and the USL game. He did start off slow but had an outstanding second half earning USL Young Player of the Year for 2019. Parano had seven goals and six assists.
5. Diego Restrepo – Goalkeeper – Seasons at SAFC: 2017-2018
Restrepo had one of the most successful seasons as goalkeeper in USL history. He recorded seven clean sheets in a row and had 12 clean sheets for all of 2017. Restrepo finished 12th in saves with 75. He completed his time at SAFC with 16 clean sheets and 149 saves.
4. Greg Cochrane – Leftback – Seasons at SAFC: 2016 -2018
Cochrane spent three seasons with San Antonio FC and is SAFC’s Ironman. Cochrane holds the record for most appearances with 101. Was part of the historic backline in 2017 and had a 86.8 percent tackle success rate, 88 clearances and 45 interceptions. Cochrane was speedy leftback that made a lot of runs forward on the wing, he was a fan favorite and always gave his all on the pitch. In his final season in 2018, Cochrane had 63 clearances and 33 interceptions. He retired at the end of the 2018 season.
3. Ever “Cheno” Guzman – Forward – Seasons at SAFC: 2017-2019
Cheno is all time leading scorer for San Antonio FC. Lead the team in goals with 11 in 2018 and was tied for the lead in 2019 with 8, In his first season with SAFC he scored five goals in 11 games as Guzman was a late season addition in 2017. Cheno finished with 23 career goals with SAFC and is topped off with a hat trick versus Portland Timbers 2 in 2019. Cheno signed with Hartford in the off season.
2. Rafa Castillo – Midfielder – Seasons at SAFC: 2016-2019
Rafa’s career has spanned 23 years on three continents and we all know the legend of Rafa and his impact to the game in San Antonio. Rafa was a general on the field, always intense and giving his all and always one play away from being a game changer. Rafa scored 14 goals in 68 appearances for SAFC over the course of four seasons. As a forty year old, he was out pacing some soccer players half his age. He also holds the record for second oldest goal scorer at 39 years 3 months and 19 days behind only to the legendary Drogba.
- Sebastien Ibeagha – Centerback – Seasons with SAFC: 2017
Ibeagha appeared in 30 matches for San Antonio FC in 2017; was named to the USL All League First Team and named USL Defender of the Year. Ibeagha was a huge part of the success of the back line that featured Greg Cochrane and Cyprian Hedrick. They accomplished a 672 minute shutout streak (including 7 clean sheets in a row from April 28th to June 10th, 2017) which is currently third best all time in the USL and are eighth all time in fewest goals concede with 24 during that 2017 season. Ibeagha finished the 2017 season with a 72 percent tackle success rate, 205 clearances, 22 blocks and 56 interceptions. His 2017 success has translated to a career in the MLS with NYCFC where he has found continued success.
So there you have it, the SAFC All Time Top 10. Let the debates and discussions begin. What do you think of the list, was there something we left off, who else is worthy of number one? Let us know in comments. Maybe we’ll revisit this list at the end of the 2020 season and see if there are new players worthy of making into the top ten or current players on the list moving up.