SAN ANTONIO, Texas – San Antonio wrapped up their three-game road trip against Phoenix Rising FC on Wednesday with yet another loss. SAFC was held off the scoreboard in a 4-0 defeat, a franchise first in United Socer League play, and was outscored 9-3 on their road trip.
Needless to say, San Antonio FC couldn’t wait to turn things around in their return to the friendly confines of Toyota Field. After all, San Antonio is 7-3-3 when playing at home this season. Their next opponent, the Swope Park Rangers, was ranked ninth in the USL Western Conference standings, a spot below SAFC. Playoff implications were on the line.
The result could not have been worse.
The Rangers came out firing, scoring two goals in the first 25 minutes of the match. In the end, San Antonio's losing streak was extended to four games as Swope Park won 2-1. The victory propelled the Rangers to eighth place in the West standings, while SAFC dropped to tenth with nine games left in the regular season.
“We have to execute on the chances we create to win games," said defender Darnell King after the home loss. "The first half, we didn’t create many chances and we were sitting back, but in the second half we pushed on and created plenty of chances. If we execute on those chances, it could be a totally different game.”
“Momentum is a massive thing in soccer," added head coach Darren Powell. "We had some good momentum going into a couple of away games and we’ve lost that a little bit, so now we have to respond. I don’t think anyone can say they didn’t work hard to give themselves opportunities to get back in the game, and I think we had some wonderful opportunities to do so.”
In their last five matches, San Antonio has scored the first goal of the game only twice. They scored first in SAFC's last win on Aug. 4 against the L.A. Galaxy II. They also scored first on Aug. 15 when they lost to the Portland Timbers 2.
“We shouldn’t start playing our best when we go down," said midfielder Mikey Lopez. "If we get that mentality from the jump, I don’t think many teams could stop us. That’s something we need to figure out. We showed resilience today, but unfortunately we didn’t earn any points, and now we have to focus on Wednesday.”
San Antonio will play the next two games on the road, including a Wednesday night match at the Rio Grande Valley FC. San Antonio will then face the top team in the Western Conference, the Real Monarchs SLC, on Monday, Sept. 3.