The Final Word: Youth and Experience in the Open Cup

The US Open Cup returned for the first time since 2019 and it was San Antonio FC’s entrance into the 2022 edition. The Alamo City City Boys faced a semi-professional team from Dallas, Texas in D’feeters Kicks Soccer Club (DKSC) in the second round of the 2022 US Open Cup.

The Starting XI for San Antonio FC was a mix of youth and experience. Defender Roman Holt made his 2022 debut for the Alamo City Boys and Hendrik Sakshaug made his second appearance, along side Holt and Sakshaug, fellow academy players also saw minutes: Giovanni Padilla, Jordan Ayimbila, Kai Louviere and  Matthew Matsuzaki.

Victor “PC” Giro made is return from the injury list as played a full 90. Giving the youth on the pitch leadership and experience.

PC returned from the injury list. Photo by Soy SAF

DKSC played tough and made most of their chances. The DKSC defense was stingy and applied pressure to SAFC. DKSC was also able to counter and take some shots at Matt Cardone, who was making his first appearance since last year’s regular season finale. DKSC and SAFC went into the locker rooms knotted up at nil-nil.

DKSC Defender puts pressure on Shannon Gomez. Photo by Soy SAF

In the 53rd minute San Antonio FC was finally able to break the deadlock with a goal from Henrik Sakshaug, his first professional goal, from just outside the 18 yard line. The shot found the lower left corner just past the diving DKSC goalkeeper, Anthony Rodriguez.

Henrik Sakshaug scored his first goal. Photo by Soy SAF

Just one minute later Connor Maloney made his mark and scored to make it 2-0. Sakshaug found the net again, for his second goal of the night, with assist from Shannon Gomez, to make it 3-0. Henrik Sakshaug’s two goals made him the youngest in San Antonio FC history to tally a brace. It was Sakshaug’s night to shine.

Connor Maloney makes it 2-0. Photo by Soy SAF

DKSC did not give up without a fight, as in the 61st, DKSC’s Luis Hernandez made a low cross into the box, which was deflected by Matt Cardone, Sebastain Mendez was able to put it away to make 3-1.

It was all DKSC was able to muster in the Open Cup match and San Antonio FC moves on to the next round with a 3-1 victory.

Notables:

DKSC Goalkeeper Anthony Rodriguez faced 20 shots, 7 shots on goal and made four saves on the night

DKSC Goalkeeper Anthony Rodriguez. Photo by Soy SAF

At 17 years, two months and 17 days old, Sakshaug is the second youngest ever to score for SAFC. The youngest ever, Ethan Bryant, was 17 years, one month and nine days old when he scored in 2018.

Henrik Sakshaug Man of the Match. Photo by Soy SAF

SAFC Open Cup History

With Tuesday night’s victory SAFC has advanced to the third round in very year they played the Open Cup

SAFC has reached the fourth round twice in 2016 and 2018 to face MLS teams. In 2016, lost to Houston Dynamo 4-0 and in 2018 lost to FC Dallas 1-0

SAFC is 7-4 overall in the US Open Cup.

The draw for the next round will be announced by US Soccer on Friday, April 8th at noon.

Up Next

SAFC returns to USL Championship regular season play as they travel to the West Coast to face Orange County SC, a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final.

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