COLORADO SPRINGS — San Antonio FC said repeatedly trusting the process would get them out of their month-long funk and on Saturday afternoon, it finally did.

SAFC scored three first-half goals and held off a late surge by Colorado in the second half to earn a 3-2 win over the Switchbacks at Weidner Field to snap a franchise-high seven-game winless streak.

The victory is the first for San Antonio in Colorado in franchise history and is SAFC’s first win since May 22.


“It was a very important win for us, as well as to score three goals against a very good and organized team who has some of the best attackers,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “We felt like a collective that our pressing actions were very good, particularly in the first half. We had moments we have to be better at, and we have to continue to press teams for 90-plus minutes. Scoring three goals is good against a strong opponent, but we also created a number of opportunities on which we have to be more clinical.”

San Antonio got on the scoreboard early when Emil Cuello found Nathan, who fired the ball past Colorado’s keeper in the seventh minute. The Switchbacks responded just seven minutes later when Hadji Barry found the end of a loose ball and beat SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone to level the score.

After Jose Gallegos’ shot attempt hit the hand of a defender in the box, San Antonio was awarded a penalty in the 24th minute. PC stepped up and drilled the shot, putting SAFC back up by a goal and giving the midfielder a goal in his return to the pitch since suffering a leg injury a month ago.

Later, defender Sam Gleadle was taken down in the box and another penalty was awarded to San Antonio. Nathan stepped up and scored, giving him his second goal of the afternoon and putting SAFC up 3-1 going into the second half.

Colorado came out very aggressive but Cardone was up for the challenge, stepping up to keep his club in front. Zachary Zandi got one back for the Switchbacks in the 73rd minute but SAFC held on for the win.

Here are three points from Saturday’s win against Colorado:

Strong start

San Antonio got off to a strong start, scoring just seven minutes into the match. They kept the foot on the gas and would score three goals in the opening 45 minutes. A much better team effort than not being able to capitalize on chances as they did during their seven-game winless streak.

“It’s been the story of our season,” Marcina said. “Mathieu (Deplagne) was projected to start prior to warmups and then, unfortunately, couldn’t go, so we had to adjust and put Chris (Lema) in literally a few minutes before kickoff, but he stepped up and did well. We preach resilience here and demonstrating resilient behaviors, and that’s as resilient as you can be.”

San Antonio will hope that attitude can continue as the club returns home to face New Mexico and El Paso over the next two games.

Fear The Beard

Goalkeeper Matt Cardone came up big for San Antonio in the second half. With Colorado threatening, the bearded one made a season-high eight saves in the victory. The effort is the second-most in club history and in Cardone’s career.

“We can’t change it if we concede or if we score, we just have to keep playing the game,” Cardone said. “We have to deal with the situations that are presented to us and stay proactive, and at the end of the day we got the win because we played well enough to earn the win.”

Riding momentum

With San Antonio finally breaking their winless streak, they will now need to use this momentum to fuel their fire as they get ready to return home. SAFC faces New Mexico and El Paso in the next two games, both clubs who are currently ahead of them in the Mountain Division standings.

“It’s hard to win on the road and getting this one will do a lot for us and for our momentum as we come back home to play in front of our fans,” Cardone said. “It’s going to be a big night on Wednesday and we’re going to be up for it.”

UP NEXT:

San Antonio FC is now 3-3-6 (15 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday night to welcome New Mexico United (6-5-2) to Toyota Field at 8:30 PM.

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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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