San Antonio FC pre-season coming to a close; players anxious for season to begin

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC has two remaining pre-season games before their third season in the USL officially kicks off.

Head coach Darren Powell and players on Tuesday said what everyone is most looking forward to is "just getting started.”

A USL team with a core of veterans is rare in this league because many players shift around with clubs and other leagues, captain Ryan Roushandel said.

But luckily for SAFC, they've been able to build on a core of returning players while adding a few new, young players to the mix.

“Having consistency and loyalty with the players is very, very important,” Powell said. “The core knows what is expected and we rely on them to help (the new players) adjust quickly in San Antonio. “

One of the newest players SAFC has introduced won't need help adjusting to the city. Ethan Bryant, 16, is a local player who was discovered on the SAFC’s Elite Club Training program. 

He was added to the roster earlier this month as a USL Academy Player so he can participate and compete in matches as a professional player but it will not affect his possible future playing at a collegiate level. 

“We want to go slowly, nurture him,” Powell said. “He has to learn to be a professional player at a young age. Right now he’s doing well and working extremely hard.”

While incorporating new players like Bryant into their system, the team has been looking ahead to their season opener on the road in Sacramento on March 17. 

The team understands that Sacramento Republic FC will look much different than last season.

"I think all the teams have changed besides us. So getting used to playing against the competition is a challenge,” Roshandel said.

The depth on San Antonio’s roster is present Powell said. And they're looking forward to moving forward as a club.

“We want the best for this club and this city. All the time," Powell said. 

San Antonio FC's first home game is against Saint Louis FC at 7:30 p.m. on March 24 at Toyota Field.