SAFC Offseason Report 8: Return of The Beard and add Austin FC Winger to the Roster

San Antonio FC remains busy filling out the roster for the 2022 USL Championship season. With US Open Cup on the schedule, San Antonio FC will be adding depth to the roster and possibly make a deep run in the return of the US Open Cup after a two absence.

The preseason friendlies are fast approaching with the Alamo City Boys making a trip to North Texas to face MLS Side FC Dallas in Frisco at Toyota Stadium on February 12th. SAFC will have three more matches to round out the preseason, new club Houston Dynamo 2 (MLS Next Pro) and USL Championship clubs Tulsa FC and El Paso Locomotive. The FC Dallas preseason friendly will be the only road trip as SAFC played the last three at home, the Tulsa FC preseason match will be open to the public and free to SAFC Season Ticket Members. We should expect to see some trialists and some familiar names from the academy (Roman Holt, Fabrizio Bernal and Abraham Lincoln (not the prez) during the preseason.

The Beard Returns

Matt Cardone returns to San Antonio FC for a seventh season. Cardone leads the team in multiple categories and is coming off his best year. After going down with a lower body injury at the end of the regular season in 2021, there was a possibility Cardone could of retired and when SAFC signed Bonilla and Farr, it looked all but confirmed Cardone wouldn’t return. With the addition of Matt Cardone, SAFC have three active Goalkeepers. All three are quality keepers, so expect a hotly contested battle to see who wins out to be GK1.

Trio Threat

San Antonio FC also added a trio of outfield players to the roster this past week. San Antonio FC announced the addition of Defender Fabien Garcia, Midfielder Deshane Beckford and Striker Kekuta Manneh.

Defender Fabien Garcia most recently played with Austin Bold since 2019 and appeared in 48 matches and scored 6 goals during that time. Garcia is a native of Colomiers, France and played for several professional clubs in France from 2012 to 2018.

Midfielder Deshane Beckford is listed as a winger and a forward started his career with Montego Bay United, spent the last three seasons on loan in the USL with Rio Grande Valley and Colorado Springs. Beckford has 50 appearances and Eight Goals in USL Championship.

Forward Kekuta Manneh is bringing plenty of MLS experience to San Antonio FC. Having most recently played with Austin FC in 2021 playing a little over 300 minutes in 16 appearances. Manneh’s best years were with Vancouver Whitecaps with 101 appearances and 22 Goals.

As the roster currently looks, San Antonio FC seems to be set at Goalkeeper and Forwards, SAFC will likely add two more defenders and three to four midfielders to round out the 2022 roster. On paper, this roster looks like a USL Finals Contender. As the preseason games start, keep it lock on for the latest.


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