HIGHLIGHTS:

SAN ANTONIO – It meant a lot for Mikey Lopez to play in front of his family and friends in his home debut for San Antonio FC. And it meant even more that he played a part in a pair of goals to give his club the win.


SAFC rallied for a 2-1 victory over Saint Louis FC (0-1-1) in front of a sellout crowd of 7,946 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night in the club’s home opener.

“The way we moved the ball tonight was an improvement from last week,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “There are some things we need to work on, but credit to St. Louis for a very difficult game for us tonight.”

Saint Louis quieted Toyota Field with an early goal when Kyle Greig redirected Austin Martz’s attempt past San Antonio FC goalkeeper just three minutes into the match. After several solid chances, SAFC finally broke through in the 21st minute when Mikey Lopez completed a pass from Kris Tyrpak to level the score 1-1. The score would remain even going into the second half.

The game would remain level until the second half and once again, the Tyrpak and Lopez combination would get it done. Lopez had the ball in the back post and sent in a cross to Tyrpak, who headed the ball past Saint Louis goalkeeper Jake Fenlason for the 2-1 lead and ultimately the win.

“Mikey and I have played on the same team growing up, so we’ve played together for multiple years and we have just been trying to get back into it and I think tonight we did,” Tyrpak said of the chemistry between the duo.

Here is what went good and bad for San Antonio FC, as well as three standout players: Lopez, Tyrpak, and Diego Restrepo.

The Good:

  • San Antonio FC got their first win of the season. It is always good when you grab three points.
  • You can see the chemistry really starting to form, particularly between Lopez and Tyrpak.
  • Diego Restrepo showed exactly why he won Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017. More on that in a moment.
  • SAFC controlled the ball much better on Saturday than they did a week ago in Sacramento. Give it time and this club should begin to form solid chemistry with each passing game.
  • San Antonio got some players back from injury. Most notably was Rafa Castillo, who got a huge ovation from the crowd as he entered the game.
  • The win saw SAFC improve to 2-0-1 all-time in home openers.

The Bad:

  • For the second straight match, SAFC’s defense started off slow. They allowed a goal just three minutes into the Saturday’s match. On the season they allowed three goals in two matches. While San Antonio may be missing two key members of their defense in Stephen McCarthy and Greg Cochrane, they did buckle down late in the second half to secure three points.
  • It is just two matches into the season but Ever Guzman still as not found the back of the net. With so many new pieces and chemistry being formed, it is vital to get him synced with the offense. It will be only a matter of time before defenses figure out a way to stop Lopez and Tyrpak if those two continue to play like they did on Saturday.
  • The center backs did not look to really be in sync, much like last week in Sacramento. Let’s hope that changes as the season goes on.
  • Defender Greg Cochrane missed the game with an injury, making it just the second match in club history he has not played in.

Three Standout Players:

Photo courtesy: San Antonio FC

Mikey Lopez

It is early on in Mikey Lopez’s career with SAFC but he is already proving his impact. Through two matches, he has two goals and one yellow card. Both of Lopez’s goals came when San Antonio was trailing in the match. Last week, he cut SAFC’s 0-2 deficit to Sacramento to one. Saturday he leveled the score at one goal apiece and did so in front of nearly 100 family members and friends.

I had a lot of support from my family and I’m so thankful they were able to come up and get to drive up here and I’m thankful we got the three points and performed for them,” he said. “It’s just really cool playing back home and playing for friends and family.”

If there’s anything to take away from Lopez’s first two matches in an SAFC kit, he is poised for one hell of a year.

Photo courtesy: Darren Abate/USL

Kris Tyrpak

The Texas native was a key part of San Antonio’s offense in 2017 and if SAFC is to be successful on that end of the ball in 2018, Kris Tyrpak needs to be another cog in that machine. He took a big step towards that on Saturday as he scored his first goal of the season with it being the difference in the game.

The chemistryTyrpak and Lopez was obvious as they assisted on each other’s goals. Like Tyrpak told the media following the match, both guys have been on the same team together growing up and to rebuild that flow together in the second match of the season is huge. You can’t learn where to spot each other on the field in just a month or so of training or a few matches. That is from playing together from a young age.

And the chemistry between Tyrpak and Lopez just might be SAFC’s secret weapon this season or X-Factor.

Photo courtesy: Darren Abate/USL

Diego Restrepo

A week after struggling in the season opener in Sacramento, Diego Restrepo reminded everyone why he was named Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017. While he did give up a goal just three minutes in, that can be blamed on a defensive mistake, the backline. It will take time for the defense and Restrepo to get in sync.

After allowing that goal, Restrepo locked in. He made two big saves but none bigger than his stop in the 73rd minute. That save likely secured all three points for San Antonio. If the defense can get in sync with their keeper, SAFC might just be a tough team to score on as the season goes on.

UP NEXT:

San Antonio FC is 1-1-0 (3 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they travel to California to face the LA Galaxy II (0-1-1) at 5:30 p.m. CST at the StubHub Center.

Previous articleOff The Pitch Ep. 3: Recap of SAFC’s season opening loss to Sacramento
Next articleAvalanche recall goaltender Spencer Martin from Rampage
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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

fourteen − two =