The Final Word: Century Man, Cardone hits 100 matches and SAFC wins

Toyota Field

A rescheduled match midweek did not slow down San Antonio FC after a big win versus El Paso. Lowly Real Monarchs came into town and SAFC was flying high off the momentum from last Saturday’s win.

Matt Cardone became the second player in San Antonio FC’s history to reach the 100 match milestone. Greg Cochrane was the first. Greg had a special message share on San Antonio FC’s social media accounts for Matt Cardone.

Jose Gallegos opened up the scoring in the 27th minute from a pass from Chris Lema. It’s Gallego’s third goal of the season and Lema’s second assist. Real Monarchs made it even with a goal from Ibrahim Bance in the 57th minute. SAFC regained the lead in the 75th minute when Kortne Ford scored his first goal for SAFC and his goal since 2017 with the Colorado Rapids. Nathan and Marcus Epps connected for the eventual match winning goal in the 79th minute. It was Nathan’s second assist and Epp’s fourth goal of the season. A late own goal in the 90th drew the score closer but it was all SAFC as they took all three points and moved into third place in the USL Western Conference Mountain Division.

Since the international break in July, San Antonio FC has gone 6-2-0 in the last eight matches. SAFC have won three straight, longest winning streak of the 2021 season.

Head Coach Alen Marcina

Photo by Soy SAF

(On Matt Cardone’s 100th match…)

“Matt is a great example for all aspiring players. His 100th game for the club is an incredible milestone and we are incredibly proud of him.”

(On the match…)

“We definitely controlled the game. We made it difficult on ourselves with the amount of opportunities we created; you have to put them in the back of the net. Guys earned the three points, but unfortunately, we didn’t execute at the level we would have liked. At the same time, I’m proud of the guys. Its back-to-back wins which is not easy to do in this conference.”

(On recent results against division rivals…)

“The team have put themselves in a position to be above the playoff line. We have games in hand on our opponents. We knew if we could get points this week it puts us in a good position to compete and stay in a playoff position for the remainder of the year.”

Goalkeeper Matthew Cardone

Photo by Soy SAF

(On being congratulated by former SAFC defender Greg Cochrane on joining the 100 club…)

“It’s great to be recognized by one of the SAFC greats. I haven’t heard from Greg recently, but I had a feeling I would. It was a great message and I’ll get back to Greg soon and tell him how much I appreciate it.”

(On the exciting talent San Antonio is producing…)

“It’s really exciting to see all the talent we have on the field from San Antonio. Jose [Gallegos] has had a string of good games and Leo [Torres] came on and put in a good performance. It’s really exciting for both of them and to see where they will end up.”

Midfielder Jose Gallegos

Photo by Soy SAF

(On the team’s performance…)

“I think tonight was a good performance. We weren’t at our best, but we are heading in the right direction with tonight and the game against El Paso. Its about building on this and proving every day in training and seeing where it takes us.”

(On his goal…)

“We as a team we always want to get in the box. I saw Chirs [Lema] making the run and I knew he was going to put that ball in, because that’s what he likes to do. I saw it coming to me, and I did what I could which was finish with my left foot which doesn’t happen much. It ended up going in, so I am very happy with it.”

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