SAN ANTONIO- San Antonio FC took on their rivals, the Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV) Toros, for the South Texas Derby on June 19 at Toyota Field where the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The first South Texas Derby of the 2021 regular season took place on May 16 in H-E-B Park where SAFC fell short in a 2-1 loss. Back home at Toyota Field, SAFC hosted the second meeting between the two teams on May 27 and ended the match in a 1-1 tie.
RGV and SAFC ended in a 1-1 draw for the second time this season on June 19 and for the fifth match in a row, San Antonio has been unable to come away with the maximum three points. Although San Antonio did not walk away with the win, they still hold their now 18 regular-season home game unbeaten streak.
“Eighteen games are quite impressive in any league in the world; it’s not an easy thing to do.” said Alen Marcina, SAFC Head Coach. “From that perspective, I am very proud of the players. I thought we did enough to get the three points, and we have to continue to trust the process.”
In the first two games, the Toros out-possessed San Antonio, and this statistic remained consistent in their third match-up on Saturday with a 57.6% to 42.4% possession rate. Despite being dominated across the board, San Antonio was the first to break the scoreline Saturday night.
In only the tenth minute of the game, forward Nathan Fogaça went down with an injury. Despite trying to play through the pain, Nathan was subbed out for Ollie Wright.
In the previous games, Wright has been a burst of energy deep in the midfield. However, when his number was called upon Saturday night, Wright brought an even higher tempo further up the field in the left attacking mid position. This is the same position that Wright spent most of his collegiate career in at St.Mary’s University.
The London native put on a phenomenal performance as he claimed his first professional assist after being on the field for only two minutes. After receiving the ball from Marcus Epps, Wright slotted the ball in between the Toros backline for Justin Dhillon to run on and finish, putting SAFC up by one.
“In training, me and Justin have linked up a few times, so I am quite used to him making that run, and luckily he did that.” said Wright. “I was able to find him through the defense and it was a great finish by him.”
Wright totaled about 66 minutes with the included stoppage time with an overall of 76.5 passing percentage.
Unfortunately, San Antonio did not hold onto their lead for very long as RGV leveled the scoreline only ten minutes later. SAFC found several opportunities in front of goal, but once again struggled to put them away.
“We have a system here that we trust in and we trust in our coaches,” Wright said. “It’s showing on the field because we are getting our chances. We have faith that sooner or later those chances will be going in the back of the net. It’s a matter of staying strong, staying resilient, and keeping that trust in ourselves.”
Hopefully, San Antonio’s luck will turn around soon and they can break their current winless streak as more away games approach them in August. With each game, SAFC has proved that they can create goal-scoring opportunities and it is only a matter of time before they prove that they can take advantage of them.
“When you trust the process, you have belief in your personnel, which we do,” Marcina said. “So, we will continue to work and at some point, we will be executing, and when we do we will be a team to beat.”