SAN ANTONIO — After three matches away, San Antonio FC returned home on Saturday night but the result remained the same, drawing 1-1 with Rio Grande Valley FC Toros at Toyota Field.
The result sees SAFC extend their home unbeaten streak to 18 games but also extend their winless streak to five games. San Antonio is 0-1-4 in their last five matches and has not won a match since May 28.
“The guys competed,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “We continue to keep this regular-season home unbeaten streak going, 18 games is quite impressive in any league in the world; it’s not as easy a thing to do. From that perspective, I am very proud of the players. I thought we did enough to get the three points, and we have to continue to trust the process.”
San Antonio’s Nathan went down with an injury early in the match and Ollie Wright came in for him. The England native worked his magic as he fed forward Justin Dhillon for a goal in the 13th minute, putting the home side up early.
SAFC’s lead did not last long because just 10 minutes later, RGV’s Elvis Amoh split the defense and found on-rushing Christian Sorto, who beat SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone with a shot to the lower right corner of the net to even the score.
The second half saw RGV control the ball for much of the 45-plus minutes but San Antonio had a golden chance to take the lead but midfielder Marcus Epps sent the ball high and out of play.
Here are three points from Saturday’s draw against RGV.
Things will be all Wright
When Nathan went down with an injury, Marcina subbed in Ollie Wright and the England native took little time to make his mark on the match.
He quickly put a beautiful ball in Dhillon’s path on the goal, giving Wright his first pro assist. After that, he was aggressive on both sides of the ball, not letting the defender by. He added a key pass, two shots and had a 70.6 percent passing accuracy.
“It’s never nice to see a player go down injured,” Wright said. “It is nice to get the call from the gaffer to come into the game. It shows he has confidence in me. I wouldn’t wish injury upon anyone so I hope Nathan can get better as soon as possible.”
With Nathan possibly sidelined, Marcina may have found a golden gem on his squad that can bring the fire while some of his players get healthy.
Chances chances chances
SAFC had a golden opportunity to put themselves in front when Marcus Epps sent a shot into The Zone gas station parking lot. His shot went VERY high and missed the open top corner of the net.
The same can be said for San Antonio in the middle of this winless streak, they just can’t seem to put away chances when they need to. After the game, both Marcina and Wright said the team just has to continue to trust the process.
“When you trust the process, you have belief in your personnel, which we do,” Marcina said. “So, we will continue to work and at some point, we will be executing, and when we do we will be a team to beat.”
Making a point
With July around the corner, San Antonio FC will need to find a way to get three points on the road. Dating back to last season, SAFC has just one road win in their last 10 games away from Toyota Field. That includes a record of 0-2-2 through four games in the 2021 season.
SAFC says they just have to trust the process and the tide will turn. They had better hope it turns soon because in August the club will have just one home match, playing four of five on the road.
“We have a system here that we trust in and we trust in our coaches,” Wright said. “It’s showing on the field because we are getting our chances. We have faith that sooner or later those chances will be going in the back of the net. It’s a matter of staying strong, staying resilient, and keeping that trust in ourselves.”
San Antonio FC is now 2-2-5 on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they face Real Monarchs SLC (1-5-2) on the road at 9:00 PM.