The Final Word: SAFC Road Warriors, Picture Begins to Take Shape

San Antonio FC got a a vital win and three points last night in Utah, as the Alamo City Boys defeated Real Monarchs 1-0. It propelled SAFC into third place of the Mountain Division with ten matches left. SAFC have four of the next five on the road, and four of the last five will be in the friendly confines of Toyota Field.

It was Marcus Epps boot that gave SAFC the1-0 win in front a crowd of 1,649. Victor “PC” Giro was the man with the assist. Matt Cardone picked up the clean sheet, his fourth of the season.

Marcus Epps, photo by Soy SAF

Alen Marcina post game – “I’m incredibly proud of the guys. They demonstrated their resilience. We created a number of opportunities, and they maintained their confidence and kept pushing to get a goal. We knew at some point it was just a matter of time and Marcus [Epps] delivered a spectacular goal for the team.”

The Mountain Division Table (Top 4 Make Playoffs)

  1. El Paso Locomotive – 45 PTS (11 Matches Left)
  2. Colorado Springs Switchbacks – 36 PTS (9 Matches Left)
  3. San Antonio FC – 34 PTS (10 Matches Left)
  4. Austin Bold – 32 PTS (10 Matches Left)
  5. RGVFC Toros – 31 PTS (9 Matches Left)
  6. New Mexico United – 28 PTS (10 Matches Left)
  7. Real Monarchs – 16 PTS (Matches Left)

SAFC Remaining Schedule

With 10 Matches remaining, the Alamo City Boys are in control of their own destiny. Overall the have 5 matches away and 5 at home. The schedule have them on the road four of the next five matches and then finish the season with four of five at home. SAFC have five matches left against division rivals: Austin Bold (1), Colorado Springs (1), El Paso (1), New Mexico (2). They also have four matches left against the Eastern Conference: Red Bulls II, OCK Energy, Memphis 901 and FC Tulsa. The schedule also includes one more Western Conference foe, Sacramento Republic.

Current Record against Division Rivals for SAFC

vs El Paso (1-0-2, 3 PTS)

vs Colorado Springs (2-1-0, 7 PTS)

vs Austin Bold (1-0-2, 3 PTS)

vs RGV Toros (1-2-1, 5 PTS)

vs New Mexico (1-0-1, 3 PTS)

vs Real Monarchs (2-2-0, 8 PTS)

San Antonio FC had 15 potential points versus the Mountain Division, El Paso controls the top of the table but SAFC won the last meeting, SAFC will look to split the season series but will have to do it in a tough match on the road in West Texas. Despite having the USL Championship leading scorer, Hadji Barry (21 Goals), Colorado Springs has only beaten SAFC once in three meetings, SAFC will look to win the series with a win or a draw at home in the season finale, could be the match that decides second place and hosting a first round playoff match. Austin Bold has had SAFC’s number taking two of the first three, will be looking to spoil SAFC hopes of a playoff spot in the next to last match of the season. RGV Toros started the season strong and looked like favorites to win the division, but have free fallen in the last few weeks and are now on the outside looking in but with no remaining matches versus SAFC, the Toros will need help of others to jump SAFC into a playoff spot. Along with Austin Bold, New Mexico could prove to be tricky as they still have two matches left versus SAFC. These could be the three matches that make or break SAFC’s season.

SAFC Playoff Chances

Looking at SAFC’s chances of making the playoffs and where will they position. El Paso Locomotive have been consistent all season losing just two matches, one to SAFC. Unless, El Paso completely falls apart in the last ten matches, they should win the Mountain Division. It’ll be long uphill climb and highly unlikely that SAFC will win the division. Second place however, it quite reachable, especially with Colorado Springs having a shaky defense and being beaten by SAFC twice. One more big win for SAFC at the end of the season could secure second place and getting a home playoff match in the first round. San Antonio FC controls their own destiny, the objective is to avoid finishing fourth and facing potentially Phoenix Rising in Arizona. Likely playoff opponents are either San Diego Loyal or Orange County SC. San Diego had a slow start to the season but have heated up in the second half to jump from the bottom of the Pacific Division table to second place.

Victor “PC” Giro photo by Soy SAF

Up Next

San Antonio FC travel to New Jersey to face the lowly Red Bulls II. It’ll be a tough one as they have to travel across the country to face an opponent in a mid-week battle, then travel back across the country to Northern California to face Sacramento next Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Alen Marcina uses his roster over the next week. Some players stayed home for the Real Monarchs match, will players be switched out on the road trip or will they remain with the same group throughout the road trip? Either way, at least four points for such a challenging road trip should be the goal.

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