It was a battle between two top defenses and goalkeepers this past weekend in Miami. San Antonio FC travelled to Florida to face the Miami FC for the first time ever. It was match up between two top three USL Goalkeepers. Both Connor Sparrow for Miami FC and Jordan Farr came in tied for second in Clean Sheets with four only trailing current USL Championship Clean Sheet leader, Louisville’s Kyle Morton. Both clubs also came in having conceded just seven goals each.
San Antonio FC was looking to take advantage of Miami FC early as Deshane Beckford took three shots in the first eight minutes of the match. Mohammed Abu would also take a crack from distance in the 18th minute but Miami’s Connor Sparrow was able to make a diving save to keep it level nil-nil early on.
San Antonio FC broke through in the 41st minute, on a turnover forced by Justin Dhillon. Dhillon wasted no time finding Deshane Beckford who would take the low shot to find the back of the net. It was Beckford’s first goal in a SAFC kit.
Miami FC did not have much of an answer all night to get by San Antonio FC’s relentless defense, despite owning possession 63.3% to SAFC’s 36.7%. Best chance came in the 79th minute but Farr was able to reel it in.
The Alamo City Boys would tack on another goal in stoppage time with a penalty kick conversion by Mitch Taintor, his third of the year.
SAFC came out on top with three points on a 2-0 victory over Miami FC and are tied for first in the USL Western Conference with Colorado Springs at 24 points. SAFC move to 8 wins just 2 losses and 0 draws in the 2022 campaign.
Head Coach Alen Marcina
(On the win…)
“It was an incredibly challenging road trip. Three games, eight days. With all that travel, to play an MLS opponent, just so proud of the mentality monsters. They continued to show up, and show up big, great mindset… we continue to display our identity which is impressive because it’s very very demanding, being the aggressors with and without the ball and they got rewarded with the win tonight.”
(On Deshane Beckford’s performance…)
“Incredibly proud of Deshane. He was going through some adversity and challenges. Continued to trust the process, earned the opportunity tonight and he made the most of his opportunity. I’m incredibly proud of him, and im also happy he got a goal – his first goal and hopefully the first of many for us.”
Midfielder Deshane Beckford
(On scoring in his first start since April…)
“You know, it’s football. I expected … to start the season strong but unfortunately, you know it’s a new team. I had to adapt, it took me a minute to understand the system. So I was always ready, I just think it was the right time for me to score.”
(On wrapping up a long week…)
“We’re mentality monsters, good players and a good team … We just adapt to the situation. We just came from two losses but you know, we just bounced back tonight and fought as a team to get three points and we’re grateful for that.”
By The Numbers
Fabien Garcia continues to shine as a defender as he recorded four clearances and two interceptions. Garcia is average 6.4 clearances through the first ten matches of the season, and remains on pace to break SAFC’s single season record for clearances.
Jordan Farr collected his 5th Clean Sheet of the season, ranks second in all the USL. Farr was also named USL Player of the Month for April
Mitchell Taintor scored his third goal of the season, a career high.
The victory by SAFC over the weekend and the cancellation of the Colorado Springs vs San Diego Loyal match leaves Colorado Springs and San Antonio tied for first place in the Western Conference. Both clubs will meet for the first time this year on Saturday May 21st at Toyota Field in what could be a pivotal match for first place and potential first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
It will be another battle of top defenses as SAFC is tied for first in the USL with just seven goals conceded and Colorado Springs is tied for second with just eight goals conceded.
Colorado Springs will bring more fire power than Miami FC did, is tied for fourth in most goals scored and have three dangerous players in Michee Ngalina, Elvis Amoh and Hadji Berry. Berry tied the all time single season goal scoring record last year.