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After some big offseason changes, SAFC ready to get back on track in 2019


With the official start to the 2019 USL Championship season just days away, San Antonio FC is hoping to get back on track to capture a USL Cup after just missing the postseason in 2018.

The offseason saw some major changes, particularly to the defensive side of the ball, as SAFC lost Greg Cochrane and Stephen McCarthy to retirement. “Mr. Everything” Ryan Roushandel also retired but now is part of Darren Powell’s coaching staff as an assistant coach.

Darnell King departed San Antonio for Nashville and Cyprian Hedrick went north of Texas to play in Tulsa with the Roughnecks.

San Antonio filled the holes in their defense by signing defenders Joshua Yaro, Kai Greene, Pascal Eboussi, and Amer Didic to the roster.

The offensive side of the field saw some big changes as well. Ever Guzman, Rafa Castillo, Pecka, and Ethan Bryant are all returning. Alex Bruce was re-signed but SAFC is loaning him to USL One side Lansing Ignite FC for 2019.

Midfielder Jack Barmby, as well as 15-year-old Leo Torres, also signed with the club.

“Everyone has been so welcoming,” Barmby said. “Not just in the club but around the city. The boys have been welcoming and everything is falling into place. It is a great city and a great fan base. I love it.”

Fans got their first chance to see the new look team in action as the team welcomed fans to Toyota Field for the first time in 2019. SAFC played to a pair of 0-0 draws with expansion side El Paso Locomotive FC, something that gives fans hope for the team defense heading into the regular season.

“We are pleased with the players tonight, they all worked hard,” said SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell following the club’s preseason match. “It was a lot of minutes of soccer and all of the players worked hard throughout. Now we go back to next week to keep improving.”

Another difference for SAFC going into Saturday’s season opener is they will be starting the season at home. Overall, San Antonio has been a strong team at Toyota Field going back to their inaugural season back in 2016.

SAFC will open the season on March 9 against Phoenix Rising FC before hosting Portland Timbers 2 the following week on the 16th.

“It’s great that we get to experience the first game of the season at home,” Powell said. “It’s the first time we’ve had the chance to do that and to have the first outing in front of our home fans is always going to be beneficial and positive because they get behind our team and it’s always fun to play at Toyota Field.”

SAFC added fan favorite Billy Forbes to the roster for his second stint with the club and fans will no doubt be loud and cheering for him.

However, for all of the SAFC fans, coaches, and staff, it looks like 2019 could really be something special.

“I can’t wait. I’m a little nervous because of the excitement but I know when game day comes, the nerves will settle and we’re going to go out there and play our game,” Forbes said. I’m really excited for the new USL Championship season and hopefully we start it with a bang.”

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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