Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – The only matchup between two newcomers to the USL Cup Playoffs sees No. 2-seed San Antonio FC play host to No. 7-seed Tulsa Roughnecks FC in the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Toyota Field on Saturday night with the teams having ended the season seeing their form move in opposite directions. Kickoff for #SAvTUL is set for 8:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen live on the USL Match Center.
@SanAntonioFC came through to clinch second place in the Western Conference with back-to-back victories in the final week of the regular season as forward Ever Guzman played a key role with three goals and one assist across the two contests. San Antonio opened the season on a 14-game undefeated streak, but slipped off the pace of Real Monarchs SLC during a spell that contributed to the side’s Western Conference-high 11 draws. SAFC has proved extremely hard to beat this season, however, finishing with a league-fewest four defeats, only one of which came on home turf at Toyota Field.
@RoughnecksFC performed a major turnaround to earn its first trip to the postseason under new Head Coach Dave Vaudreuil, more than doubling its points and wins totals from the 2016 season to finish in seventh place. Leading the way has been a major influx of talent, including Argentinean playmaker Juan Pablo Caffa and target forward Ian Svantsesson. The club’s new partnership with the Chicago Fire also paid off through important contributions by Joey Calistri and Collin Fernandez, and while the Roughnecks fell in both meetings with SAFC in the regular season the side might be able to take some inspiration from its penalty shootout victory in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup earlier this year that saw goalkeeper Fabian Cerda come through as the hero.
71 – San Antonio FC winger Billy Forbes attempted 172 dribbles in the regular season and completed 71 of them to lead the USL in both categories.
4 – Tulsa Roughnecks FC playmaker Juan Pablo Caffa finished tied for the league-lead with four goals from outside the penalty area, while also creating 37 chances from set pieces on the season.
San Antonio (4-1-4-1) – GK: Diego Restrepo; D: Greg Cochrane, Stephen McCarthy, Sebastien Ibeagha, Ben Newnam; DM: Ryan Roushandel; AM: Kris Tyrpak, Pecka, Cesar Elizondo, Billy Forbes; F: Ever Guzman
Tulsa (4-2-3-1) – GK: Fabian Cerda; D: Jaime Ayala, Modou Jadama, Jorge Corrales, Kosuke Kimura; DM: Jacori Hayes, Jonathan Levin; AM: Joey Calistri, Juan Pablo Caffa, Christian Thierjung; F: Ian Svantesson
San Antonio – None
Tulsa – None
REF: TIMOTHY FORD
AR1: Francisco Bermudez
AR2: Diego Blas
4TH: Baltazar Peral Hana