The Final Word: SAFC Choo-Choo Chews Up Locomotive in a Gritty Win

El Paso came in with one of the worst defenses and best offenses in the USL. It was expected to be a high flying and high scoring match up in the the first round of the Copa Tejas match which runs within the USL Championship regular season.

San Antonio FC was able to keep El Paso’s offense in check and the Locomotive stalled out. Elliot Collier scored his third goal of the season in the 11th minute to give the San Antonio FC the 1-0 lead and set up the tempo for the rest of the match. Goal was assisted by Connor Maloney.

Elliot Collier celebrates third goal of the season. Photo by Soy SAF

San Antonio FC had several chances to increase the lead, Didi Taore hit the post in the fifth minute, Connor Maloney had a couple of chances and Santiago Patino had a chance late.

Santiago Patino made his first appearance in the 2022 season. Patino came in the 77th for Elliot Collier and made an impact in the game. Patino and Deshane Beckford wore down the El Paso defense in the latter part of the match.

Santiago Patino first appearance of 2022. Photo by Soy SAF

Jordan Farr came in big again making several key saves and a big save in the 15th minute from a shot from distance that looked like it was about to find the far left post. Farr made a fantastic diving save. Jordan Farr got his second clean sheet of the season.

Match Notes

  • SAFC moves to 5-1-0 on the season.
  • SAFC still stands at third in the Western Conference with 15 points.
  • SAFC’s 15 points on the season are tied for third in the league, and the only two clubs with more points have played more matches.
  • Elliot Collier’s goal in the 11th minute was his third of the season to lead the team.
  • Collier’s three goals include two consecutive matches with a goal, scoring the game winner last week at Orange County.
  • Connor Maloney’s assist to Collier was his second of the season, both coming to Collier.
  • SAFC outshot their opponent for the first time this season, outshooting El Paso 15-6, including a 7-1 differential in shots on target.

 Head Coach Alen Marcina

SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. Photo by Soy SAF

(On holding El Paso scoreless…)

Our pressing actions, which are being cohesive and ultra aggressive, were there all night. I’m really proud of the team, of the players, and keep in mind El Paso is a good team … the standings don’t show it but they’re a very very good team, excellent attacking players, some of the best attacking players in the league. So to shut them down and also create the amount of opportunities that we did, all in all a good game.”

Forward Elliot Collier

(On the collective defensive effort…)

Obviously being an attacking player l want to score goals but if I don’t do the defensive job I won’t be on the field. That’s a huge part of the SAFC way, everyone defends. We defend together, attack together, win together, lose together.”

Defender Connor Maloney

(On the team’s performance…)

We knew that they had a good attack, and I felt like we sniffed out a lot of their attack. The entire game we were defensively sound and very disciplined, a lot of communication on the field went a long way.”

San Antonio FC moves on to a huge US Open Cup match as they face MLS side Austin FC in a Central Texas battle in the Third Round of the Open Cup. The match is set for April 20th at Toyota Field. Kickoff is at 8:00 PM.

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