San Antonio FC Head Coach Darren Powell has been in San Antonio long enough to know why one of the many nickname’s it bears is ‘Military City, USA’. With multiple military bases and a large contingent of servicemen and women in the San Antonio area, the veteran and active duty community is such an important and large part of the Alamo City.
SAFC coaches, players and staff are all aware of what that community means to the larger San Antonio population. And they don’t need to look any further than Toyota Field on Saturday nights to see how large and proud of a community it actually is.
“It’s awesome,” Powell said in reference to all of the active duty personnel and veterans at SAFC matches. “You see the servicemen and women dressed in uniform and it adds to the atmosphere. It’s very unique to have such a military presence at a game. They come out in full force and support the team. When you look out at them you certainly feel safe, and you feel very proud that your city has such a special relationship with people who serve our country.”
Even though there is a strong military presence at most San Antonio FC matches, this Saturday’s game vs. Reno 1868 FC will be an extra opportunity for the organization to honor members of the armed forces past and present. Saturday marks Military Appreciation Night presented by Toyota. Aside from the in-stadium recognition for active duty military and veterans the club will do, the club will also offer a 20% merchandise discount for fans with a military ID. The club is working with the Soldier’s Angels group for a sports ball drive pregame, while they are also auctioning off the player-worn and signed military pregame tops to benefit the same organization.
In addition, the club will dish out SAFC cooling towels to the first 1,000 fans in the gate and will offer $5 margaritas on the rocks. SAFC will host an ‘Extra Time’ postgame party after the final whistle where $1 drinks and sodas will be available to the fans. All of the things being put together to make Military Appreciation Night complete are a ‘no-brainer’ according to Powell.
“It’s a special evening to thank all of our military and servicemen and women that protect and serve the United States,” said Powell. “Being in San Antonio, it’s a military town, so we really appreciate them and it’s an opportunity for us to show our gratitude and share an evening together at a match.”
On the field, San Antonio will look to extend their home unbeaten streak six matches against Reno at Toyota Field. The club is looking to start climbing the standings starting this weekend with what would be their fourth home win of the 2019 campaign. Powell knows how important it is to get a result especially in front of the dedicated SAFC fan base.
“Whenever you step on that field in front of our supporters -- military men and women included -- we want to make sure when they leave the stadium they leave with a smile on their face because their home team has done everything they possibly can to earn a victory,” Powell said.