After getting through their first two matches with a win and a draw, the tests keep coming for San Antonio FC, the city’s first United Soccer League team, as they take on LA Galaxy II. The defending Western Conference champions are already looking like a stern test this year, and very likely to repeat, perhaps going one step better.
Los Dos, as the Californian team is called, already sit on top of the standings in the west, although that is partially by virtue of having played the most matches, with four matches already to their credit. But with eight points, that is an impressive return, especially considering they were three goals down in Salt Lake City last week before charging back to manage a 3-3 draw.
That puts LA Galaxy II in the middle of their worst run, having failed to win their last two matches, a feat that will not happen that much in 2016. Los Dos had an identical result to San Antonio FC on the weekend as they fought out a punishing 1-1 derby draw with the Orange County Blues on Friday night.
There is an embarrassment of riches for the LA Galaxy II attack, with Jack McBean leading the line, with three goals already. Ariel Lassiter follows with two goals, in a potent attack, but worryingly for San Antonio FC, assists have come from all over the park, making it hard to just stop one player, with no one player having multiple assists.
The wealth of talent is also the case at the other end of the field, with a choice between two MLS experienced goalkeepers. Clement Diop has the strongest record, having yet to allow a goal but has been called up to the senior team, missing the last two matches. But with the senior team not playing until the weekend, Diop could be available for Los Dos, an intimidating prospect in goal. But even without Diop, former Chivas USA goalkeeper, Dan Kennedy is also a difficult man to break down.
Daniel Steres played a full 90 for the senior team on Sunday, but with Galaxy not playing until Friday, in Houston, Steres could well feature for LA Galaxy II on Wednesday. Bradford Jamieson came off the bench on Sunday for the senior team, playing 26 minutes for the team, after playing more than 150 minutes in USL this year, and will likely feature on Wednesday as well.
With such talent, it’s going to be a difficult road match, although the atmosphere will offer little, with LA Galaxy II typically getting below 2,000 fans at a match. A win for San Antonio would push them up to second in the league, and while the season is still in its early days, having that position could take some pressure off.
For that win to happen there are two things that could still need some work, the crossing was still astray, although improved from the opening match. Unfortunately the finishing was poor throughout the match, a big part of why San Antonio FC are only four points instead of six points.
San Antonio FC Head Coach Darren Powell was not too concerned with that after the match on Saturday night.
“If we weren’t creating chances, I’d be concerned, but that will come,” Powell said.
Fans of San Antonio FC will be hoping that comes on Wednesday against a difficult Los Angeles Galaxy II side.
Top image: San Antonio FC midfielder Daniel Garcia (right) celebrates his goal with San Antonio forward Jason Johnson during the first half of San Antonio FC’s first game against the Swope Park Rangers, Saturday, April 9, 2016, in San Antonio. Photo by Darren Abate for USL