USL PLAYOFFS SET: SAFC Hosts Oakland Friday Night

San Antonio now knows who their first opponent will be after late night West Coast match.

San Antonio FC used their playoff bye week to get healthy as the team practiced last week. (Adam B. Higgins, Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Sports fans in San Antonio were paying attention to the outcome of two games late Sunday night.

One was game four between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees with a chance to sweep N.Y. and return to the World Series.

The other, the outcome between the San Diego Loyal FC and the Oakland Roots SC, who were wrapping up the first round of the USL Playoffs.

The Oakland Roots SC won their playoff match 3-0 and earned a trip to the Alamo City to face San Antonio FC this coming Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Field. Friday’s Western Conference Semi-Final match will be San Antonio’s first playoff game since last year when they lost in the Western Conference Finals on the road.

“We had some experiences last season, playing at home in the playoffs,” said forward Santiago Patiño to KSAT 12 Sports last week. “We feel strong, secure with the atmosphere in our field and I think that is going to be huge for us in this playoffs.”

SAFC finished the regular season with a 24-5-5 record and 77 points, both were the best in the league and earned S.A. a playoff bye week. San Antonio has a 11-1-5 home record and are hoping the home pitch advantage throughout the rest of the playoffs gives them the edge to play in the championship game this season.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, it’s something the players have earned,” said head coach Alen Marcina. “We’re in a privileged situation that we get to play in front of the best fans in the league - our fans. It means a lot to us and we are thankful to our fans. They make our stadium a fortress and the way we show our gratitude back is by working incredibly hard in training and leaving it on the field for them.”

SEASON MATCH RECAP

San Antonio and Oakland first faced each other back at the start of the summer. The squads played to a 1-1 tie on June 18 at Toyota Field, giving SAFC their first draw of the season and a 10-3-1 record at the time. Forward Samuel Adeniran scored San Antonio’s lone goal of that game.

Oakland hosted San Antonio on September 3 where S.A. won 2-0. Adeniran scored first in the match in the fifth minute. Adenrian, who led the team in goals this season with 10, scored again late in the match in the 85th minute. Jordan Farr earned the team’s 13th clean sheet of the season in the win. SAFC had 17 clean sheets in 2022, with Farr credited for 15 of them.

“We’ve always had a playoff mentality and it can show in our games,” said goalkeeper Jordan Farr. “People sometimes don’t like how we play because it’s win at all costs. Our mentality in every game is ‘it’s win or go home.’ That can be taxing on the mind at times given the length of the season but it’s paying off for us now.”

There are limited tickets available for Friday’s playoff match. You can visit TicketMaster.com or the team website for more info.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 19 years and is an award-winning producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com


About the Authors:

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.