SAFC Offseason Report 6: Grading the signings…so far

San Antonio FC continues to build the 2022 roster. There are still plenty of needs for the squad but it is shaping up nicely. This was not a rebuild year, so far eight players have returned from the 2021 team that reached the Western Conference Final and the roster stands at 13. Let’s break down the signings as of this week.

Goalkeepers

There are no goalkeepers on the active roster. Matt Cardone has been with the club since the beginning but no word if he will return for 2022 or hang up his cleats. Carlos Mercado, promising young keeper from UIW, has not signed. Jordan Farr, which came in on emergency loan from Indy XI, had a successful postseason. He’s been spending time in Indianapolis this offseason. Farr is the popular fan choice to succeed Cardone.

Jordan Farr came in on Emergency Loan. Photo by Soy SAF

Priority this week has to be signing at least one keeper before the first preseason match with FC Dallas in Frisco on February 12th.

Defenders

Four have signed so far, two of those are returning. Connor Maloney is returning for a third season. Mitch Taintor signs after coming in on loan from Sacramento Republic last season. New signing, Right Back Shannon Gomez came from Sacramento Republic after spending four seasons there. Although Gomez is a new signing having played with Taintor at Sac Republic, provides instant familiarity and rapport in the backfield. Carter Manley comes in from RGV Toros , was ranked third in interceptions, tied for second in Blocks and third in Clearances. Height may be a concern for new signings Gomez and Manley (listed 5’8″ and 5’11” respectively), will likely be used on the outside. SAFC still need to sign another tall dominant Center Back to solidify the defense.

Connor Maloney returns for Year Three. Photo by Soy SAF

Midfielders

Six have signed, four are returning. PC and Jose Gallegos returning are the biggest signings in the midfield. Mohammed Abu is a solid signing and is returning for a second season. Leo Torres is probably the signing everyone is looking forward to. This could be Leo’s breakout year. David Loera is a Spanish midfielder without much professional playing experience but is promising. Has three MLS matches with Orlando City and 11 appearances with Phoenix. Loera is looking for his first professional goal, had nine goals in college playing at North Carolina State. Ates Diouf spent two years at Austin Bold, had fives in 38 appearances. Ates played as a winger on the right side, is speedy and isn’t afraid to apply pressure on defense. Diouf will likely be the replacement for Marcus Epps.

PC is a game changer. Photo by Soy SAF

Forwards

Two of three forwards signed are coming back. Santiago Patino and Justin Dhillon return for a second season and combined for 15 Goals. Santiago Patino had 8 Goals in just 14 overall matches, missing almost half the season due to a lower leg injury. A full season under Patino’s belt could result in a single goal record breaking year. Dhillon scored 7 Goals on 17 Shots on Target. Newcomer Elliot Collier is coming from MLS side Chicago Fire, scored six goals last season with Indy XI while on loan.

Patino could break the SAFC single goal record in 2022. Photo by Soy SAF

Team Needs

Priority signing – Goalkeeper, Starting caliber Centerback

Important signings – Left Winger, Center Mid, Backup Centerback

The Alamo City Boys offseason has gone well so far. Good signings of starters and potential role players. San Antonio FC has an excellent core returning, SAFC seems to be about three players away from being a USL Cup contender, needing quality players and Goalkeeper, Centerback and Left Winger. No Goalkeeper signed keeps SAFC from getting a A grade, so far we will SAFC a B+ for the offseason. What are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for all the latest.

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