The Final Word: Escape from LA, SAFC has a strong start

San Antonio FC made a west coast trip to face Los Angeles Galaxy II on Saturday night. SAFC came into the match with a 1-0 win last week at home against newcomers Detroit City and Galaxy II was looking for their first win of the young season after a 2-1 heartbreaking defeat at the hands of San Diego Loyal when a own goal by Galaxy II’s Jalen Neal in the 90th plus minute sealed the deal for Galaxy II.

For the second straight week, it was Colombian international Cristian Bonilla between the post at keeper for SAFC and the lineup looked strong although Santiago Patino was also absent for the second straight week from the line up. Scoring opened up in the ninth minute as the Alamo City Boys struck first with a fine goal by David Loera. Gomez set up the goal as he made a run from midfield and made a quick overhead pass to Loera who was able to make a quick trap off his chest and one time it in with a lob over Galaxy II keeper Richard Sanchez about 8 yards in front of goal.

Galaxy II was able to equalize in the 30th minute on a corner, Harvey scored on a half volley which went uncontested in the far post, Bonilla dove to his right but was unable to make the stop.

In the 53rd minute, Galaxy II’s Adrian Gonzalez was shown red after his second yellow card of the match and was sent off, the incident occurred when Gonzalez took down Connor Maloney outside the box. On the ensuing free kick, Mohamed Abu made a cross to the far left post and found Mitch Taintor who headed in from the six yard line and celebrating in a Cristiano Rolando style leap to give SAFC a 2-1 lead. It was Taintor’s second overall goal with San Antonio FC and his first since 2021 when he was with Sacramento Republic.

SAFC had the man advantage until the 55th minute when SAFC forward Elliot Collier took a Galaxy II player down in the box before a corner and was awarded a red card. That left it as 10 v 10 for the rest of the match. Galaxy II put the pressure on for the much of the remaining minutes of the match while SAFC elected to park the bus and stop the Galaxy II attack. Coach Alen Marcina elected to used two subs, Diouf came in the 73rd for Loera and Traore coming the 94th minute for Dhillion and finish out the last three minutes of stoppage time.

SAFC finished out the match with a 2-1 victory, giving the Alamo City Boys a 2-0-0 start to the season for the first time since 2017.

Head Coach Alen Marcina

            (On the match result…)

            “I’m incredibly proud of our team. They were cohesive, they competed for 90+

minutes and were definitely resilient. Especially when both teams got the red

cards, that’s difficult for players … and our guys got the result, and I’m proud of

them.”

Head Coach Alen Marcina during match versus Galaxy II. Photo provided by Kevin Bass, SAFC media

            Defender Mitchell Taintor

            (On the team’s performance…)

            “I thought it was a great response from last week. I didn’t think we played our

best last week but we squeaked out a win. We all challenged each other to be

better on the ball and practice what we preach in training, and I think everyone

did that. It was great coming here and getting three points. I think everyone

battled, everyone played well, so there are a lot of good takeaways. And

obviously some things to work on, but I’m really proud of the guys.”

USL Championship highlights.

MATCH NOTES

SAFC travelled with three goalkeepers as Bonilla made the start, Cardone and Farr were available subs but not used.

Youngster and up and coming defender Roman Holt was on the roster but did not see minutes in LA

This a was Mitch Taintor’s 150th USL Championship Match.

Next Match for San Antonio FC will be down in Edinburgh, Texas as the Alamo City Boys take on the Rio Grande Toros in the first edition of the 2022 South Texas Derby on March 27th with a 6:30 PM kickoff at H-E-B Park.

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