SAFC Offseason Report 5: Is the Matt Cardone Era Over?

Matt Cardone has been a staple of San Antonio Soccer for a long time, staying local throughout his soccer playing career. Going to MacArthur High School, became an All American at Trinity University, began his professional career with San Antonio Scorpions and played over 100 matches with San Antonio FC; Matt Cardone and his beard has become synonymous with San Antonio Soccer.

Matt Cardone in 2019. Photo by Soy SAF

After 108 matches with the Alamo City Boys, has Matt Cardone time between the posts come to an end? During the regular season finale of the 2021, we saw Matt Cardone go down with a lower body injury, although not specified by club or league. It is speculated to be a knee injury sustained in the waning minutes of the match, having Carlos Mercado come in. Matt Cardone was able to exit the match under his own power, not much of an update has been seen since then. Cardone missed the playoffs and San Antonio FC acquired Jordan Farr on emergency loan from Indy XI.

Matt Cardone waiting to come out the tunnel before a match at Toyota Field. Photo by Soy SAF

So the question is will Matt Cardone return to San Antonio FC for the 2022 season? As far as goalkeepers go, he is entering the prime age for a keeper at 28 years old, but has also suffered two known serious lower body injuries. He also sustained an injury in 2017 was out for most of the year.

Matt Cardone stats over the last four seasons.

2021 had 1.18 GAA, 99 Saves and a 72.3% Save Success Rate.

2020 had 1.00 GAA, 33 Saves and a 73.3% Save Success Rate.

2019 had 1.67 GAA, 94 Saves and a 63.1% Save Success Rate

2018 had 1.38 GAA, 37 Saves and a 67.3% Save Success Rate

Matt Cardone in early 2021. Photo by Soy SAF

As of publishing of this story, San Antonio FC has yet to sign a goalkeeper. Jordan Farr may return to San Antonio after a spectacular playoff run. San Antonio has not made any announcements on Matt Cardone’s health or his status on returning. Cardone does not have a social media presence. If he returns, he will be the longest serving player on the roster as he would enter his seventh year with the club and the only member of the original 2016 roster.

Matt Cardone during warm ups in 2021. Photo by Soy SAF

Matt Cardone has been a hero, role model and fan favorite to many and soon will become a San Antonio legend. Although he went down with an injury at the end of last season, we believe physically there plenty left in the tank and still has a few quality years ahead of him, it’s all up to Cardone if he feels it mentally.

Our guess is, after 200 matches from college until now, Matt Cardone will hang up the cleats and call it a career. We hope San Antonio FC gives him a proper send off. Of course, if Matt Cardone returns in 2022, we’ll be excited for another season of “Fear the Beard”.

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