SAN ANTONIO – With the 2019 USL Championship season in the home stretch, points are at a premium and for San Antonio FC, they seem to have things clicking at the right time.
SAFC would stay red-hot as they earned a 3-1 win over Real Monarchs SLC (8-7-4) at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
With the win, San Antonio extended their unbeaten run to five matches, going 3-0-2 over that stretch. The win combined with other league results has SAFC sitting with 27 points, putting them in a tie with Sacramento for the final playoff spot in the West.
“We’re always pleased to get three points in this league and we’re proud of the efforts of the players,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “At times we could have made that game more comfortable, but fair play to Monarchs who kept going and have quality players.”
San Antonio started strong on the attack early and it would pay off in the 15th minute when forward Brian Gomez put home a nifty goal to put the home side up a goal.
Things took a scary turn after San Antonio goalkeeper Matt Cardone was kicked in the face by Monarchs midfielder Lionel Etoundi in the 37th minute. He would remain down for several minutes before going to the locker room. Backup goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi came in relief and Etoundi was ejected.
In stoppage time, a miscue by the SAFC backline resulted in a Real Monarchs goal from Luis Palma. San Antonio would take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room at the break.
The second half would be a back and forth affair as SAFC played more conservative while Real pressured. Billy Forbes would crack the scoreboard after several scoring attempts, putting home the goal and securing San Antonio’s 3-1 win.
SAFC’s latest addition continues to shine, scoring his third goal in three games since joining the club. He’s sparked the offense as San Antonio has averaged two goals in their last three matches.
“Frank has come in and given us a different look, but everything that we do is a collective effort on both sides of the ball,” Powell said. “It’s not an individual thing, it’s a team effort and a collective effort attacking.”
Viscosi made four saves, including a big one at the end to keep SAFC up two goals. He was quick and could be a great fill-in until Cardone comes back, assuming he misses any time.
“Every game I try and be ready for the unexpected, and every time it doesn’t happen you think that it’s bound to happen at some point,” Viscosi said. “Once it came I took a deep breath and tried to get on the ball to settle in and get the boys going.”
The defender has played solid the past few matches and that continued on Saturday night. He won duels, beat his man on defense, and had several key clears to ensure SAFC kept their lead.
Now SAFC will look to take advantage of their homestand, which will be key for their playoff push.
“We have to treat it like any other game and take care of all our games,” Greene said. “We’ve done exceptionally well at home but we can’t get complacent, there’s no time to look at the standings. We just need to win and everything else will take care of itself.”
San Antonio FC is now 7-8-6 (27 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday for a huge contest against Sacramento Republic FC (8-9-3) at Toyota Field with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 pm Central Time.