After a winless road run, San Antonio FC will return home Saturday with hopes for improved results at Toyota Field. Sitting well off the playoff pace, San Antonio will need a win, and against a struggling Tulsa Roughnecks FC they will have a golden opportunity.
Saturday’s match against the Roughnecks presents a good opportunity for San Antonio FC to get back on track, as Tulsa have scored just two goals all season. Last week, Tulsa lost to a previously lowly ranked Portland Timbers 2 and is second last in the conference, only ahead of Seattle Sounders 2, due to a favorable goal difference.
Despite where they stand on the table, Tulsa has looked good in several matches, but they have not looked good enough for a full 90. They had some strong passages in their match against a strong Swope Park Rangers, where it seemed they would find a goal, but a mixture of missing that final ball into the box, and the inability to put away their chances conspired to deny the Roughnecks.
While their offense has been struggling for goals, their defense has been leaking goals, especially last week when they gave up two to Portland. It seems that their challenges are just not working out, as Portland easily avoided losing possession, as did Swope Park.
But between those matches there was some encouragement for Tulsa, who managed a strong defensive performance against St. Louis. But even in a bright defensive performance they were still unable to find goals, with the match ending scoreless.
What is worrying for Tulsa fans is that their coach, David Irving, seems somewhat unable to see what to do to fix the problems.
“We’ve just got to go out there and play like we did in St. Louis,” Irving said in an interview with the United Soccer League. That won’t be very encouraging, since that match in St. Louis still was not a win, but did make them harder to break down.
That’s not to say that all things are rosy for San Antonio FC, who is still in a struggling run, having not won since the opening match of the season. Ever since Seattle, the finishing has largely gone missing, with the forwards struggling to put away their opportunities.
In the Saturday game against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, San Antonio FC changed their front three, allowing Jason Johnson and Carlos Alvarez to team up. That gave San Antonio more chances, with Alvarez looking especially dangerous, but the finishing still couldn’t break through.
Unfortunately for San Antonio, their plays have often been undone by defensive errors, especially in the last two matches. A penalty gave the Orange County Blues FC a win, but the error on Saturday against Colorado Springs was the biggest so far.
A poor clearance saw the ball fall through for Colorado Springs, which was missed by Josh Ford, giving them the win. San Antonio FC could win the match on Saturday, but the result could come down to who makes the least mistakes.
San Antonio FC have plenty of work to do to fix those issues and get their first ever home league win.
Listen to Rivard Report’s Chris Hockman’s thoughts on this match and more on the Defending the Fort podcast here. Tickets are still available for the match and can be purchased through the team website here.
Top Image: San Antonio FC midfielder Daniel Garcia, top, scores on Swope Park Rangers goalkeeper Jon Kempin during the first half of a USL soccer game, Saturday, April 9, 2016, in San Antonio. Photo by Darren Abate/USL.
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