HIGHLIGHTS:

SAN ANTONIO – A season-best offensive performance lifted San Antonio FC to an impressive 4-2 victory over Western Conference leaders Real Monarchs SLC (13-5-2, 41 pts) at Toyota Field on Saturday night.


The match marked the kick off to the second half of the 2018 season for the club, who sits on the outside of the playoff picture. It was the first time San Antonio had scored two or more goals in a match since June 2 and tied the club record for most goals in a single match.

“I’m proud of the players. They made sure they were ready for the next play and that’s what they should take pride in all the time,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “There are going to be ups and downs during the course of the match and I was really proud of the way the players responded on those minor setbacks tonight and didn’t let them turn into major setbacks.”

SAFC got things started early before fans even had a chance to settle into their seats. Omar Gordon put a shot on goal that deflected off the keeper and into the net, putting the home side up 1-0. The goal would be ruled an own goal by the officials. The visitors leveled the match with a goal from Sebastian Velasquez in the 16th minute but Gordon connected on a goal by putting home a rebound in the 25th minute to put San Antonio up 2-1.

The second half saw San Antonio extend their lead when Mikey Lopez placed a perfect pass for Ever Guzman, who buried the ball for his second goal of the season. That two-goal lead was short lived as the visiting side came within one with Velasquez’s second of the match just over two minutes later.

Charlie Ward capped off the win for San Antonio when he placed a beautiful free-kick into the top left corner of the net, finalizing the 4-2 score.

Here is what went good and bad for SAFC on Saturday, as well as three standout players: Omar Gordon, Charlie Ward, and Mikey Lopez.

The Good:

  • San Antonio’s offense came alive as they tied the club record for most goals in a match. SAFC scored four goals in a match for the first time since 2017 and two more goals for the first time since June 2 against Portland Timbers 2.
  • Ever Guzman scored his second goal of the season and first in league play since April 27. The goal is his third overall if you count the international friendly against Santos. Powell and SAFC will hope this will see Guzman start to go on a scoring run to help Gordon.
  • Stephen McCarthy made his first start of the 2018 season after missing most of the first half of the season dealing with an injury.

The Bad:

  • SAFC saw Real Monarchs get forward on their attack, which led to the goal that made it 3-2. San Antonio could have been fatigue from the heat but overall that is one of the poor areas from Saturday’s match.
  • Ward mentioned postgame the club was not happy allowing two goals from the visiting side. Diego Restrepo was particularly disappointed.

Three Standout Players:

Photo courtesy: Darren Abate/USL

Omar Gordon:

After not making the final lineup for a night off, Omar Gordon returned and made his mark on the SAFC offense, providing the early jolt the club needed.

Gordon had a hand in the first two goals of the night. Just 30 seconds into the match, he flicked the ball on goal, which the Real keeper got a foot on before it went into the net. Despite the official ruling being an own goal, we feel Gordon should’ve gotten some credit for it.

The second goal was all Omar as he put home a rebound off a missed shot. The match showed why Gordon is so important to SAFC’s attack and offense, despite if he can play a little too selfishly at times.

What we feel as a group of players every week is that we can compete with anybody in the league, and tonight we were able to prove that against a team that is in first place right now,” Powell said.

Photo courtesy: San Antonio FC

Charlie Ward:

With SAFC’s offense struggling throughout the season, there needs to be a player who will step up in big moments or in moments where the club needs a goal. Charlie Ward proved on Saturday that it could be him.

Ward buried a free kick in the 67th minute, which would seal the win for SAFC. There is no doubt with Gordon being the main cog of the San Antonio offense, he will need help in the second half of the season if SAFC is to make any kind of a push.

“Everyone is a good player and people who aren’t making the squad is fighting for a place on the pitch every day, and even people who are playing are still fighting to keep their position,” Ward said. “We earned the win today but now we go again on Wednesday and we need to get ready for that.”

Photo courtesy: San Antonio FC

Mikey Lopez:

Despite not scoring in the match, Mikey Lopez still played a big part on both sides of the ball in SAFC’s win on Saturday.

Lopez had the assist on Guzman’s goal when he placed the ball perfectly for Ever, who weaved his way to the empty net after getting the goalkeeper out of position. Mikey also had several clearances as the visitors were threatening to score on the attack and passed the ball well on the night.

With points at a premium right now for SAFC, every match means something. And the club knows it needs to go out and give their all every single night.

“We know that it’s a make-or-break time right now, so all these games are huge games for us and we can’t be dropping points anymore,” Lopez said. “Today was a good start, but we have to carry that into Wednesday.”

UP NEXT:

San Antonio FC is now 6-5-7 (25 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday night when they take on Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (8-10-4, 28 points) at 8 p.m. CT at Toyota Field.

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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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