The 2021 USL Championship has reached the half point of the season. There have been surprises and disappointments throughout. San Antonio FC has found themselves in a tough Mountain Division and the name fits, cause it has been nothing but a steep climb for SAFC this season. Will SAFC reach the peak and be named King of the Mountain or will the be stuck at base camp? That remains to be seen but here is how SAFC has performed so far.
The 2021 season started with promise for SAFC, a 3-0 win versus Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Santiago Patino began the season with a hat trick. But San Antonio FC never seemed to capitalize off the opening day victory. From May 1st to July 17th San Antonio FC only had one win. While San Antonio FC didn’t go into a complete nose dive, managing six draws during that 10 game stretch, they weren’t making much head way in a highly competitive division.
San Antonio FC has improved over the last six matches going 4 W 2 L 0 D, outscoring opponents 11-6 in that stretch.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten SAFC has it’s taken its chunk out any momentum for SAFC early in the season. PC has gone down three times with an apparent hamstring injury, Connor Maloney was out for most of the first half but since his return, SAFC has been seeing more results. Santiago Patino has gone down indefinitely with a lower leg injury, Khamiri, Doyle and others have missed games. Seemingly, every match has seen a different starting XI. So many injuries makes it difficult to build any rhythm, but seems like SAFC is turning the corner and hopes they can remain healthy going to the latter part of the season.
Top Performers: Nathan Fogaca – 7 Goals, Emil Cuello 3 Assists, Cam Lindley 3 Assists, Sam Gleadle 27 Tackles Won, Matt Cardone 3 Clean Sheets
San Antonio’s defense has been serviceable, keeping them in matches. Early on the gave up some late goals but seem to have remedy that as of late, and should continue to improve with the return of Connor Maloney. The defense hasn’t given up more than two goals in a game, if SAFC’s offense continue to improve with the likes of Nathan, Abu, Lindley and Cuello as the anchors, SAFC should be able to clinch a playoff spot.
The offense took a hit when Santiago Patino went down with an injury and Jordan Perruza returning to Toronto FC after a short loan stint. Nathan Fogaca has turned up the jets as he scored 6 goals in the last 6 games. Rookie Ollie Wright has been instrumental in keeping SAFC in games as his two assists help salvage points.
San Antonio FC League Ranking (out of 31 teams)
Goals: Tied for 10th
Conversion Rate: Tied for 19th
Passing Accuracy: 30th
Goals Conceded: 13th
Clean Sheets: Tied for 16th
Fouls Conceded: 1st
Yellows Cards: 2nd
Red Cards: Tied for 3rd
Record versus Division foes through 17 matches
Austin Bold – 1 W 1 L 0 D
Colorado Springs – 2 W 0 L 1 D
El Paso Locomotive – 0 W 2 L 0 D
New Mexico United – 1 W 1 L 0 D
Real Monarchs – 0 W 0 L 2 D
RGVFC Toros – 1 W 1 L 2 D
Rest of USL – 1 W 0 L 1 D
Mountain Division Teams
Austin Bold – 2 games left
Colorado Springs – 1 game left
El Paso Locomotive – 2 games left
New Mexico United – 2 games left
Real Monarchs – 2 games left
RGVFC Toros – 0 games left
Eastern Conference Teams
5 games – New York Red Bulls II, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, OKC Energy, Memphis 901 and FC Tulsa
Sacramento Republic – 1 game