San Antonio FC has re-signed USL Goalkeeper of the Year Diego Restrepo for the 2018 season pending league and federation approval, the club announced today. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. Restrepo rejoins SAFC after appearing in 27 league matches with the club in the 2017 season.
“We are pleased to have Diego back for the 2018 season,” said SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell. “He had an impressive year, and he has a hunger to continue to develop our team in 2018. His journey last year was well documented, but his desire to improve every day was there for all to see.”
Restrepo was named the USL Goalkeeper of the Year and earned USL All-League First Team honors after leading the USL in shutouts (12) behind the best defense in the league. His 12 clean sheets fell just one short of the USL all-time record, which was set by goalkeeper Brandon Miller in 2015 while with the Rochester Rhinos. Restrepo also led SAFC to record the fewest losses in the USL (four) and the fewest goals conceded in the league (24).
“I am very excited to be able to stay in San Antonio,” said Restrepo. “I am looking forward to a great 2018, helping the team continue to grow the soccer culture in San Antonio, and also fighting to win trophies. I would like to thank everyone in the front office and on the coaching staff for believing in me to continue being a part of this club.”
The Venezuela native recorded 69 saves during the regular season, posting a 76.7 save success rate in 27 games, and finished runner-up in the race for the USL Golden Glove award with a 0.80 goals against average. Restrepo only conceded multiple goals in a single match on four of his 27 appearances for the Silver and Black, and recorded a season-high six saves on September 9 at LA Galaxy II.
Restrepo also helped the Alamo City club record the second-longest shutout streak in USL history, going 672 minutes without conceding a goal from April 28 to June 17 while making 13 saves over the course of those seven matches. The stopper also featured in 120 minutes of play in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Tulsa Roughnecks FC, recording a shutout before the team’s elimination from the competition on penalty kicks.
Restrepo spent two seasons playing professionally in Colombia and Venezuela from 2011-12 before spending time with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Charlotte Independence and Fort Lauderdale Strikers. In 2016 with Fort Lauderdale, he helped lead the Strikers on an impressive run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last season, advancing to the quarterfinals of the tournament – the furthest of any non-MLS team. The 29-year-old spent time at the IMG Soccer Academy before attending college at both the University of South Florida and the University of Virginia. During his time at Virginia, he led his squad to the ACC Championship and NCAA National Championship in 2009.
San Antonio FC recently concluded the 2017 USL regular season with a 17-4-11 record, finishing second in the USL Western Conference standings and earning their first playoff berth in club history. SAFC advanced to the Western Conference semifinals before being eliminated by OKC Energy FC on penalty kicks.