Home Red Black 90 Match Day The Six-Pointer Preview: St. Louis FC at San Antonio FC

The Six-Pointer Preview: St. Louis FC at San Antonio FC

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Match Day #2 will see San Antonio FC make their much-anticipated home debut. After starting the season in Sacramento with a tough road loss that was a literal finger-tip save away from ending level, San Antonio will look to bounce back in front of their faithful and rowdy fans in their Toyota Field opener for 2018. We caught up with Matthew Bird from the “This is Silly” Podcast (@ThisIsSillyPod) to get the answers to six questions about SAFC’s next opponent, Saint Louis FC. After spending 2017 in the USL Eastern Conference, the future Central Conference rivals are paired up in the West once again. Here we go, into the first home game edition of the Six-Pointer Preview.

  • 1 – (RB90) Saint Louis FC started off their season on the road at SAFC’s biggest rival, RGV FC, and Y’all came away with a point. First, thank you very much for dropping two points off of RGV, and secondly, what were your biggest takeaways from the match?

(MB) My biggest takeaways were three fold.
1) We only played in my opinion at 80% of our potential. I felt like we have plenty of room to improve. That will happen over time as this team continues to gel together.

2) Our midfield was a little too timid for my liking, any midfield with Wal Fall, Tony Walls, and Joey Calistri should be putting the fear of God into opposition, they’re big boys and can handle themselves. Not saying they are hackers, far from it. They are big lads who can play. I would have liked it if they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.


3) Our first touch and passing just weren’t crisp as I would have liked. Seemed a bit off. We have work to do.

  • 2 – It has been awhile since SAFC and Saint Louis FC got together – what are the biggest changes with the club since these two last played in September 2016? For one observation – it appears that the roster is completely different.

Both teams went in opposite directions in the past year. You stuck with your coach and a core of players from when we last played in 2015. We brought in Preki and a whole new squad. It didn’t work at our end, for whatever reason. So we’ve had to retool again with essentially a brand new squad and coach once again. We have to take a long-term approach now. Allow Coach Pulis to build a team to his own liking. If that doesn’t happen this year (and it may not, although I think we’ll be alright) We cannot afford to keep chopping and changing every 12 months. We tried a quick fix with Preki. It didn’t transpire. Now we need a long-term outlook.

  • 3 – Saint Louis FC struggled out East last season finishing 12th out of 15 teams and missing the playoffs. What are the biggest things that need to happen this year to change their fortunes in 2018?

More goals and more goal scoring opportunities. I know it is cliche, but that’s where we are. Volesky could have done so much better last year but we just couldn’t get him the chances he needs. With Kyle Greig and Korey Hertzog also coming into the team we won’t be relying on one main striker anymore either. That said we need to be more creative. Last year was too sideways and backward for my liking.

  • 4 – There was a lot of buzz around Preki when he was announced as the manager for STL but he ended up only lasting one season. How disappointing was that, and what can you tell us about the new skipper, Anthony Pulis, and what positives have you seen out of the new staff so far?

I am not sure Preki was ever truly happy here. I wish I could answer what went wrong. Maybe it was as simple as once the MLS vote was shot down. I just don’t know. One thing I think is different is Pulis seems to be excited to be here. Seems excited to be his own man, and not being having players foisted on him as an MLS2 boss anymore. He is the captain of the ship and he can steer it any way he wants.

  • 5 – Saint Louis FC only won two road matches in 2017, so there’s almost nowhere to go but up in that regard. It’s very early in the season, but any indications that this team can perform better on the road overall in 2018?

Away wins? What are these away wins of which you speak of? We as Louligans travel pretty well I think, but we’ve never gone en masse to a game and won, We’ve taken plenty of bus trips to Louisville, Swope, OKC Energy etc and always come away empty handed. I’d love this year to go to an away game with 40 or 50 of us and win. I’ve seen us win away myself, on my own. However, I really want to win on the road with a bunch of my mates to enjoy it with.

  • 6 – Tell us something we should know about Saint Louis FC

Well, we’ve won every game we’ve ever played in San Antonio. How do you like them apples? Granted, you’ve won every game you played here too. I mean, I’m just happy to still have a field after two pretty big floods in the past three years. Erm…… Greg Cochrane won his first game in USL while playing for us. I could start talking about history and open cups and the 1950 World Cup and all that nonsense. It is time STL stopped talking about its soccer history and started making more of it.

Current Form
San Antonio FC – L
Saint Louis FC – D

Table Position
San Antonio FC – 0 points, -1 GD, tied for 12th
Saint Louis FC – 1 point, 0 GD, tied for 7th

All-Time History (W-D-L)
San Antonio has never beaten St Louis FC at Toyota Field. San Antonio FC is 1-0-1 all-time vs Saint Louis FC.

Last Time
San Antonio was defeated by Saint Louis FC on September 10, 2016, at Toyota Field by a score of 1-3. Carlos Alvarez had the lone SAFC goal, assisted by Rafa Castillo. Irvin Herrera scored a hat-trick for the visitors.

The Matchup (W-D-L)
Saint Louis FC (0-1-0) at San Antonio FC (0-0-1) #SAvSTL
Toyota Field
Kickoff 7:30 pm Central Time
Where to Watch: USL Match Center, www.sanantoniofc.com
Tickets: www.Ticketmaster.com

Key to victory
San Antonio FC will no doubt be eager to bounce back from their opening week defeat out West. SAFC was very good at home last season, including eight wins and only one defeat, and they will definitely look to keep that going in 2018. Look for Alex Bruce and Connor Presley to potentially carve out bigger roles after impressive week one performances. After a very productive pre-season, Ever Guzman will look to break open his scoring account, and San Antonio will need it. Ditto that sentiment for Kris Tyrpak. It’s hard to imagine SAFC having the season they want to have without offensive production from those two players. Saint Louis FC, led by Chris Walls and Corey Hartzog, will no doubt give it all they have to play the role of spoiler and come out of the Texas Two Step with points in both Texas matches. Not knowing the status of several key injured SAFC players, we’re taking a more conservative stance for the week 2 outcome.

Prediction
San Antonio FC – 1
Saint Louis FC – 1

SAFC “Did You Know?”
San Antonio FC recorded their “most ever shots on goal in a single match” vs Saint Louis FC on September 10, 2016, when they recorded 23 shots on the STL net.

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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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