The Final Word: SAFC Controls Playoff Destiny

With just eight matches remaining in the 2021 USL Championship season, San Antonio FC are in second place of the USL Western Conference Mountain Division. While they have not clinched a playoff spot yet, the chances are looking extremely good.

Current Situation

San Antonio FC is coming off a highly successful four game road trip. SAFC will be coming home riding a three match winning streak and facing New Mexico United this Saturday, who currently sit sixth and four points outside the playoff spot. SAFC is nine points clear from falling out and just six points out of first place. Keep in mind El Paso Locomotive does have two games in hand.

Capturing First Place

For San Antonio FC to catch up to EL Paso, the Locomotive would have to falter in their two games in hand and SAFC would have to win in their final regular season match up on October 6th. Adding to the challenge, SAFC would also have to play near perfect soccer for the final eight matches. Chances of SAFC capturing the Division Title is slim but not impossible.

If the Season Ended Today

San Antonio FC would finish second in the Mountain Division and the playoffs spots would face a cross divisional opponent. SAFC would host the first round of the playoffs versus Orange County SC. They have not faced each other this season and the last they faced each other was in July 2019 to a nil-nil draw. Orange County SC lead the all time series with 3 wins, 3 Draws and 2 Losses.

Remaining Schedule

The schedule is in favor of San Antonio FC as five of the last eight are at home. SAFC face New Mexico this Saturday at home then jump back on the road for two against OKC and huge mid week match in El Paso. SAFC will face two Eastern Conference foes, then head to New Mexico for the final road trip of the regular season before finishing the last two matches (Bold and Switchbacks) at the friendly confines of Toyota Field.

Spreading the Offense

Early in the season, it seemed like all the offensive weight was on Santiago Patino, who started hot with an opening day hat trick. SAFC struggled early finding goals but since the international break Nathan Fogaca began scoring, Marcus Epps, Justin Dhillion and Jose Gallegos also have been finding the back of the net.

Scoring Leaders

  1. Nathan Fogaca – 8 Goals
  2. Justin Dhillion – 5 Goals
  3. Marcus Epps – 5 Goals
  4. Santiago Patino – 5 Goals
  5. Jose Gallegos – 4 Goals

Team Stats

Goals Total – 36 (4th in the West)

Shots – 343 (2nd in the West)

Conversion Rate – 14% (tied for 10th in the West)

Total Passes – 7,668 (last in the West)

Clean Sheets – 5 (tied for 5th in the West)

Goals Conceded – 27 (4th in the West)

Fouls Conceded – 374 (1st in the West)

Yellow Cards – 67 (1st in the West)

Red Cards – 5 (3rd in the West)

Passing Accuracy – 73% (last in the West)

Injury Concerns

Most of the team of healthy but we do now that Santiago Patino has been out for most of the season but there have been glimpses of Patino working out and could be back before the season ends. Sam Gleadle went down a few weeks ago, no word if he will return but with all the matches piling up, the defense will need all hands on deck down the stretch.

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