San Antonio FC (9-0-4) will host the Tulsa Roughnecks (5-6-0) for the first time in the 2017 regular season this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Field. SAFC will look to extend their perfect USL record against the Roughnecks, as the Alamo City Club has compiled a 3-0-0 clip against Tulsa in league play. The game will be the second SAFC match that will air live on FOX Sports Southwest, with Glenn Davis and former United States Men’s National Team midfielder John Harkes on the call.
San Antonio FC recently earned a 0-0 draw in Oklahoma City against the Energy, extending the club’s shutout streak to seven matches and 645 total minutes. Last season, the RGV FC Toros set the USL record, going eight-plus matches (758 total minutes) without allowing a goal in USL play. With a shutout in their upcoming game against Tulsa, SAFC will match the eight straight shutouts that RGV posted last season, and will have a chance to equal and beat the current USL shutout record in the following game on June 24 at the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
Part of the defensive success that SAFC has showcased so far in 2017 is a result of the club limiting the amount of action in their own 18-yard box. San Antonio ranks near the top of the USL in defensive clearances, and defenders Sebastien Ibeagha and Stephen McCarthy have combined to record the most clearances by any two teammates in the USL (148). Ibeagha leads the league in the same category with 87, and while McCarthy will be suspended this Saturday due to yellow card accumulation, fellow defenders Greg Cochrane and Ben Newnam have each recorded 27 and 33 clearances respectively.
After starting their season with four wins in their first seven matches, the Roughnecks have won just one in their last four USL games. However, the Roughnecks have improved greatly on their finish in 2016 after the club ended last season in last placed in the Western Conference. Through their first 11 matches, the Roughnecks have already matched their win total from last season and currently have scored 16 goals while conceding 17 on the year. The Roughnecks also progressed to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup after eliminating SAFC on penalty kicks in the third round. Tulsa would go on to lose to FC Dallas in heartbreaking fashion after a stoppage time own goal eliminated the USL club from the tournament.
One of the many new faces on the Roughnecks roster this year is a creative Argentinian attacking midfielder by the name of Juan Pablo Caffa. Caffa is a seasoned veteran who has spent time in first divisions around the world including in his home country of Argentina as well as the prestigious first division in Spain’s La Liga. This season, the “number 10” leads the club with three assists and is tied for second on the team in goals with four. Caffa is known for his dangerous left foot, and the midfielder has already put in 28 crosses which leads the Roughnecks. The former Real Betis man has led his team in crosses in every match he has played (averaging 8.4 per game), and 32.1 percent of them have been successful.
With Caffa’s crossing ability, San Antonio will need to continue to be alert in the defensive end while keeping their clearance numbers near the top of the USL. Ibeagha averages 6.7 clearances per game, and will enlist help from his teammates in sending Caffa and the other Roughnecks passes out of the danger area.
In the two clubs’ three previous regular season meetings, SAFC is 3-0-0 and has outscored the Roughnecks 7-2. The last time these two faced each other in the regular season, San Antonio defeated Tulsa 2-0 at Toyota Field in the Alamo City club’s final home game of the season.
Game 14 – San Antonio FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. central
Stadium: Toyota Field (San Antonio, TX)
San Antonio FC: 9-0-4, 31 pts (2nd place)
Tulsa Roughnecks FC: 5-6-0, 15 pts (8th place)
All-time Series: The game marks the fourth regular season matchup between the two sides, and second this season in all competitions. SAFC is 3-0-0 in the USL regular season against the Roughnecks, outscoring them 7-2. The Roughnecks eliminated San Antonio from the 2017 US Open Cup in the third round after 120 minutes of scoreless soccer and penalty kicks
FOX Sports Southwest
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