SAN ANTONIO – With a new coach at the helm and new faces across the roster, San Antonio FC put together an inspired effort in a preseason friendly against FC Dallas.
Unfortunately, that effort wasn’t rewarded with a victory.
After controlling the pace of play for the majority of the game, SAFC saw a 2-nil lead evaporate in the final 7 minutes of regulation, eventually falling to the visitors 3-2. The loss hearkens back to last year’s late game collapses, but considering the opponent and the time of year, the club chose to focus on silver linings.
“There were a lot of positives," said head coach Alen Marcina. "There were a lot of moments in which we made it difficult for a very good FC Dallas team. Our hope was to achieve our tactical and behavioral objectives, and I think the fans saw a taste of our team identity, and hopefully they’re excited to see what lies ahead.”
“I think we had a good showing today,” echoed defender Connor Maloney. "FC Dallas is a very good team and tonight you saw our man-to-man pressing. We were relentless for 85 minutes and we have a lot to learn, but there were a lot of positives from tonight and we’re going to take that into our next scrimmage and into the season.”
One of the biggest positives was the play of 18-year old midfielder Jose Gallegos. The Central Catholic senior flashed plenty of potential, generating multiple scoring opportunities and tallying San Antonio’s second goal of the night on a breakaway in the 72nd minute.
After tonight, one thing's clear: @SanAntonioFC's Jose Gallegos (@JoseGal46512203) looks primed for a breakout @USLChampionship season - the dynamic midfielder generated multiple chances & scored a goal in the club's 3-2 preseason loss to FC Dallas #KSATsports @ButtonAthletics pic.twitter.com/gLXjngn3nv— Andrew Cely (@ACelySports) February 13, 2020
“I’m very happy to score another goal and especially because today was my mom’s birthday, so it was a very special day," Gallegos said. “Personally I want to score more goals each game, but as a team we want to improve collectively so now we’ll look at film, see what went right and wrong, and work on the things we need to.”
“He’s a young guy with lots of potential moving forward,” Maloney explained. "He brings craft to our team which not a lot of teams have. He’s young, he has a lot of potential and he has a bright future ahead of him. He was working hard, like everyone was, and to see that in a young kid like that is very positive.”
Maloney notched the first goal of the night on a penalty kick in the 66th minute of play.
San Antonio FC will return to preseason action on Friday, Feb. 21 against Orlando City SC.