USL FINAL: SAFC ready for championship match

San Antonio FC hosts Louisville City FC on Sunday night

SAFC celebrates with fans after they win their first USL Western Conference Final title on Sunday, November 6, 2022. (Andrew Cely, Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – This is what San Antonio FC has been working hard for all season long.

It’s a chance to win the final game of the season and walk away on top of the United Soccer League.

This weekend, the top two teams from the Western and Eastern Conference meet for the very first time. After another impressive playoff victory last weekend, San Antonio FC will now host Louisville City FC on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Field for the USL Championship Final.

“They’re an incredibly good team, very well organized, and at the same time every team have their strengths and weaknesses,” said head coach Alen Marcina on Thursday. “We thrive in chaos and our intent is to create chaos. We have to have the right mentality - being mentality monsters - and hopefully that is enough to get the result.”

Sunday’s match marks the first time the top two seeds in the USL meet in the championship game. If SAFC wins this weekend, it will also mark the first time a team ends the season with both the best regular season record and the postseason championship.

“This pressure has been put on us since preseason,” Marcina said. “We’ve trained for this moment, for this opportunity since preseason, so we’re confident from that standpoint.”

While this is San Antonio’s first trip to the championship match, Louisville City FC is no stranger to this moment, having won the championship in 2017 and 2018.

“I think both teams are going to give it everything they have,” said forward Justin Dhillon. “Both teams want to win this so badly. We’ve worked tirelessly for 30-plus weeks, for years this organization has been building up to this. We’re going to leave every ounce of energy and heart we have out on that field, and that’s going to be really apparent this weekend.”

SAFC hasn’t lost a match since Aug. 27 and since then are 8-0-2 with seven shutouts and only four goals allowed.

Louisville City FC will arrive in the Alamo City on Saturday afternoon.

TICKETS FOR SUNDAY

Fans hoping to attend the championship game were met with some technical issues late Monday morning.

SAFC and TicketMaster.com were overwhelmed with the amount of people attempting to purchase tickets. Toyota Field has hosted three consecutive sold out matches and are aiming to do the same for the title game.

The good news is that there are still tickets available for Sunday’s showdown and until SAFC announces a sellout, keep checking the team website for tickets, including standing room only ticket options.

Sunday’s game will also be televised live on ESPN2.

SPECIAL GUEST

Thursday night the KSAT 12 Newsroom had a special guest!

Defender Connor Maloney, fresh off scoring his first USL goal last Sunday, stopped by with the USL Western Conference trophy. Maloney was Larry Ramirez’s guest during the 6 p.m. sportscast.

You can see the interview from the sportscast below:

SEASONAL AWARDS

The awards kept mounting up earlier this week for SAFC.

Goalkeeper Jordan Farr was named USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year on Tuesday. Farr was named to the All-League First-Team the week before and was the lone player in the USL to be selected the Player of the Month twice in 2022.

Farr wasn’t the only player to walk away with a new award.

Later that same day, defender Mitchell Taintor was named USL Championship Defender of the Year. Taintor was also named to the All-League First-Team and scored a career-best five goals this season.

Unfortunately, SAFC head coach Alen Marcina was not named Coach of the Year by the USL. That honor was awarded on Wednesday to Memphis head coach Ben Pirmann.

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.