SAN ANTONIO – With his club trailing by two goals, San Antonio FC Head Coach Darren Powell inserted 17-year-old Jose Gallegos to start the second half. It would be a decision that would earn them a big win and possibly turn their season around.
Gallegos scored his first professional goal as San Antonio FC earned a 3-2 come from behind win over Reno 1868 FC in front of 7,464 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
The win is the first for the club since April 26 and snaps a three-game losing streak and five-game winless streak overall.
“In the second half we wanted to make sure we were the aggressor and to try to come out and earn three points,” Powell said. “I am really proud of the resilience, the way they performed and their commitment to doing the right things in terms of effort and actions — it was fantastic. I am really proud of all the players tonight and the whole squad in general.”
Reno got on the scoreboard first thanks to a goal from Corey Hertzog just nine minutes into the match. A bad giveaway by SAFC defender Eby Ackon resulted in another Reno goal, this time from Cade Cowell in the 17th minute.
SAFC got one back just before halftime as Ever Guzman put home a goal, making it his fifth of the season and 22nd overall with the club.
San Antonio came firing out of the gate to start the second half and would score two goals in two minutes to take the lead. Ethan Bryant was off target twice before converting on his first goal of the season in the 61st and Gallegos netted a goal in the 63rd to put SAFC up 3-2.
Reno would make one final push to draw level but SAFC’s defense would come up big when they needed to the most.
Here is what went good and bad for San Antonio FC, as well as three standout players: Ethan Bryant, Ever Guzman, and Jose Gallegos.
- San Antonio FC snapped their five-game winless streak, earning their first win since April 26.
- Ethan Bryant and Jose Gallegos led the way in the second half and sparked a comeback for San Antonio in a must-win match.
- Ever Guzman added to his tally, scoring his fifth goal of the season and played a big role in the first half with 10 touches.
- Darren Powell inserted Jose Gallegos to start the second half.
- SAFC started off very slow, giving balls away and not much offensive flow. Two straight turnovers in 15 minutes would lead to two Reno goals.
Three Standout Players:
The striker got San Antonio on the scoreboard just before halftime. His goal was the five of the season and 22nd overall for him since joining the club. He would help provide a spark for SAFC going to the big second-half rally.
In his first start of the season, the 17-year-old came close to getting the equalizer before converting on his first goal of the season in the 61st minute.
Bryant had one goal go off the bar and a missed pass on another before burying his first goal of the season in his first start of the year.
“It feels great, but most importantly I am really happy with this win,” Bryant said. “The team deserves it and hopefully, it is just onward and upward from here.”
The 17-year-old scored his first professional goal and did so in dramatic fashion as he and Bryant worked together to help give SAFC the lead in a match they needed to win.
Gallegos has been a start in Powell’s system since he arrived with the club and now it seems like he may be getting more playing time thanks to solid play the past few weeks.
“Jose has done well and he has been in training for the first time for a full week,” Powell said. “We have seen him and he had to finish his high school exams and get ready for this moment. We have kept him in touch with the team the last couple of teams and just waited for him to have an opportunity.”
San Antonio FC is now 4-7-3 (15 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next weekend to face OKC Energy FC (5-4-6) at 8 pm Central Time from Taft Stadium.