It was a busy offseason for San Antonio FC as they began to piece together the roster for the upcoming 2019 USL Championship season. Darren Powell and his technical staff along with Managing Director Tim Holt set out to piece together a squad that could compete this year, along with a squad that had good character and a desire to represent the city by putting on the SAFC shirt with pride.
As each of the 14 new players were announced over the course of offseason and early stages of preseason, they shared their initial thoughts on joining the club and their first impressions of the organization, teammates and staff. Words that stuck out were happy, excited, thankful and thrilled while descriptions of the club ranged from great to fantastic to ambitious.
Each of the quotes below represents excitement and eagerness to get going in 2019, and San Antonio FC fans should feel the same way as preseason continues to progress towards opening night at Toyota Field on March 9th.
Defender Ebenezer Ackon – “This is a great feeling. Ever since I got to the United States, I’ve dreamed of completing my education and becoming a professional soccer player, so being here is a dream come true. I’m starting my pro career here and I think San Antonio FC is the best place for me to be.”
Midfielder Cristian Parano - “I’m thrilled about this experience and I’m very thankful for the opportunity that San Antonio FC is providing me. I will give my absolute best to repay the trust that the coaching staff is giving me, and I hope to help the team reach our goals.”
Midfielder Billy Forbes - “I am excited to be back with this organization. San Antonio has been home for a long time, so it feels great to come back and play for the fans who have supported me for my whole career.”
Midfielder Michael Lahoud - “I am very intrigued by the club’s ambition to be one of the premier clubs in the USL. The ownership and staff want to build something special here and do it the right way. This year we have a new team, which means new challenges. As an experienced player, I hope to help lead on and off the field as we aspire to make history in San Antonio.”
Defender Johnny Fenwick - “I am very happy to join SAFC. I am looking forward to meeting up with the lads and getting to work. SAFC is a fantastic club with a lot of ambition. I am hungry to be successful here and I can’t wait to get started.”
Midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe - “I’m very grateful and excited to be joining this great organization. I would like to thank San Antonio FC and Darren Powell for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. Playing professionally has always been something I dreamt of, but this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to get to the city and start preparing for the upcoming season.”
Goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi - “I’ve had some good conversations with Darren [Powell] and Juan [Lamadrid] about the vision of the club and the direction in which its heading. I’m really excited to come in and be a part of that vision. I am looking forward to arriving and seeing everything first-hand, and most of all meeting the boys and getting to work on the training ground in preparation for the season ahead.”
Forward Jahir Barraza - “I’m thrilled to join this club. I’m excited for this opportunity to play abroad, which is something I’ve always dreamed of. It’s a challenge that I’ll take on while being committed to giving my best every day to achieve our collective and personal goals.”
Defender Joshua Yaro - “This is an organization that has a dream and is working hard to make that dream come true. This is a great club with great people that I am excited to work with. I’m looking forward to start working to achieve our goals this season.”
Midfielder Jack Barmby - “I am excited for the upcoming season. I am looking forward to joining the organization and can’t wait to get into the city and get going.”
Defender Amer Didic - “I’m very thankful and excited to be a part of this organization. I’ve heard many great things about this club and seen first-hand in my experiences on the other side of the field. I can’t wait to get started and prepare for the upcoming season as we set our sights on silverware.”
Defender Pascal Eboussi - “I want to say thank you to Coach Powell and the club for giving me this opportunity. I am excited to arrive for training camp and begin working with my new teammates. We want to give the fans a season to be proud of in 2019.”
Defender Kai Greene - “I’m very excited to join this professional club. It’s important that the fans get a championship-caliber team this season and we will work hard to give them that. We have a lot to prove and we’ll do so by working collectively.”
Midfielder Walter Restrepo - "I'm very happy to be back in San Antonio. This is a city that gave me a lot, where I had a very important year professionally in which we won a championship. The people and fans here are amazing and I knew that someday I had to come back. I want to give everything to this club to achieve our objectives together."