EDINBURG – San Antonio FC earned a point as they played to a 0-0 draw with Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (1-3-5, 8 pts) in front of an announced crowd of 7,846 fans at H-E-B Park on Saturday night.
The draw sees SAFC’s win streak snapped but sees their point streak extended to four matches. RGV had plenty of chances in the first half but Diego Restrepo was a key cog in the San Antonio defense, stopping all shots he faced.
Darnell King had an opportunity for the visitors but Sonny Guadarrama could not complete the pass to the defender.
“I’m really proud of the players for keeping the clean sheet and earning the point,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “The game became very stop-start for whatever reason, so it made it difficult to get into our flow. But all in all, we got a point and a clean sheet on the road and now we just need to prepare ourselves for Midland on Wednesday.”
Here is what went good and bad for San Antonio FC as well as three standout players: Diego Restrepo, Darnell King, and Greg Cochrane.
- San Antonio FC saw their point streak extend to four matches. Out of a possible 12 points, SAFC has gotten eight points over the past four outings. The Red and Black sit ninth with 13 points, just one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
- SAFC collected another clean sheet on Saturday, making it their third of the season.
- SAFC will take the point and got severely outplayed on Saturday. RGV set the tone from the opening kickoff as they sent shot after shot to Restrepo. The Toros’ attack was strong but it was San Antonio’s defense that came up with the answers.
- After two weeks of SAFC’s offense looking solid, it was a complete 180. Credit RGV for making life difficult but San Antonio had difficulty completing passes and getting into a flow on the offensive end.
- Jose Escalante was ineffective against his old club. Credit RGV does know his technique and style. Escalante went without a shot on goal or a pass, losing out on several duels as well.
Three Standout Players:
For the third straight match, the San Antonio FC goalkeeper came up big. The first half mainly saw RGV in control of the ball and their attack applied heavy pressure to Restrepo. However, the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year was up for the challenge.
Restrepo stopped all five shots he faced, including two key stops on attempts from Jesus Enriquez and Todd Wharton.
“We have to give RGV credit,” he said following the game. “They played a good match, especially in the first half, but we were able to endure it. In the second half, the match was more even and we had chances, but unfortunately, we didn’t score. All in all, we leave here with our heads up, that’s four matches unbeaten now and we will try to build on that.”
Darnell King played a massive part in getting chances for San Antonio and continued to play at a high level for the past few weeks. In the second half, King had a chance to get SAFC on the board but Sonny Guadarrama could not complete the pass.
King’s speed and quickness on the attack have proven vital for SAFC in the early part of the season and if he continues to play at this high of a level, San Antonio will be on the positive side of the results as the season goes on.
The defender had a solid all-around game on both ends of the ball. On the offensive side, he just missed on a long-range shot that went wide of the RGV net. Meanwhile, on defense, he played a key role in SAFC’s defensive efforts. He won some duels and had some clearances, preventing the Toros from setting up their offense.
“I’m pleased because our objective in the back is to earn the shutout,” Restrepo said. “This is a difficult place to play, RGV is still undefeated at home. I think there are things we need to improve on, but we got the shutout and that’s a positive, and now we have to move on to our two matches in the next week.”
San Antonio FC is now 3-2-4 (13 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday for U.S. Open Cup play against Midland-Odessa Sockers FC. The club will resume USL play next Saturday night at Toyota Field against Tulsa Roughnecks FC.