SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC saw their U.S. Open Cup run end with a 0-1 loss to MLS side FC Dallas in front of 6,224 fans at Toyota Field on Wednesday night.
The match was historic as SAFC hosted an MLS opponent at Toyota Field for the first time in club history.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our players and their efforts,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “You see several players just trying to keep the ball in dangerous areas and keeping the opportunity alive. All in all, we felt that tonight we gave them a good game.”
SAFC came out strong as Omar Gordon pushed his way through the Dallas defense, setting up the offense. He had a scoring opportunity in the 25th minute but Dallas defender Jordan Cano cleared the ball on the line.
Later on, in the half, Sonny Guadarrama also had his scoring chance cleared away at the line. Despite aggressive play from San Antonio, the match would be scoreless after 45 minutes of action.
Dallas put home the game-winner before fans even settled into the seats from halftime. Tesho Akindele stole the ball from Ryan Felix and put home a low shot past SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone, just 10 seconds into the half.
Both clubs would push their scoring chances late but the match would end with Dallas getting the one-goal win.
Here is what went good and bad for SAFC, as well as three standout players: Omar Gordon, Sonny Guadarrama, and Greg Cochrane.
- SAFC’s defense was up to the challenge of facing an MLS side. San Antonio held Dallas scoreless in the first half and limited them to one shot on target in 45 minutes of play.
- Omar Gordon tore up the Dallas defense in the first half. More on that in a moment.
- The city of San Antonio showed up to support their club. 6,224 fans packed Toyota Field and set a record for attendance for an Open Cup match.
- Halftime saw Dallas make the adjustment to focus in on Omar Gordon after he tore them up in the first half. SAFC seemed a little rattled by it and did not respond quickly to the swarming defense from the visiting side early in the second half.
- SAFC never really adjusted or responded to Dallas’ aggressive play in the first half. They gave away the ball and had two scoring chances until the final 12 minutes of play.
Three Standout Players:
Once again, the Jamaican was the key cog in San Antonio FC’s offense in the first half. He used his signature speed and set up several players for scoring chances. He ran out for a cross kick in the 15th minute of the match but there was no SAFC player to help redirect the ball in.
Later on, he weaved his way through the Dallas defense and put a shot on goal, only to be denied by Cano’s cleat. Just before halftime, Gordon ran out to for a scoring chance but was once again denied. Sonny Guadarrama had a shot to put home the rebound off of Gordon’s miss but was also stopped by the keeper.
If Gordon can tear through an MLS side’s defense like Dallas’, he and SAFC fans should gain even more confidence in his abilities moving forward into USL play.
Due to his play in the first half, Sonny Guadarrama made his mark on the match. He had a few chances cleared at the line that would have easily put SAFC up 2-0 or even 1-0.
In the second half, he saw his chances lessen but made his mark by giving his teammates chances. He would push the attack and find Cochrane and Gordon for chances that just went wide.
“Us players that were on the field, we weren’t afraid and we wanted to prove ourselves,” he said. “Overall we had a very good game, but unfortunately we couldn’t take the win.”
Dallas had some scoring chances in the first half on the attack but Cochrane was there to stop them dead in their tracks.
The defender made two key stops on the ball as the visiting side was on the attack, setting up a corner kick. He won a few duels as Dallas was setting up their offense and worked with the rest of the backline to ensure goalkeeper Matt Cardone had some easy saves in the opening 45 minutes.
“We created countless chances and I believe Omar was our most dangerous player,” Cochrane said. “It was unfortunate that we couldn’t put one away, but that’s the way the game goes sometimes. Tip the hat to Dallas because they defended well, but we’re moving on.”
Now SAFC will head over into USL play and Cochrane feels the tournament will only help San Antonio going forward.
“If we can do that against one of the best teams in MLS, we should be able to do that against any team in the USL, so if we can use that going forward, I think we’re going to be in a really good position.”
San Antonio FC (4-3-5, 17 points) will have a bye week this weekend before resuming USL action next Saturday against Sacramento Republic FC (7-3-3, 24 points) at Toyota Field at 7:30 p.m. CT.