San Antonio FC continued their undefeated pre-season as they cruised to a 5-0 victory over NPSL side, Dallas City FC. It was the second loss for Dallas City in San Antonio in the past 12 months after they fell to Corinthians FC SA in league play in June.
The match saw SAFC coach Darren Powell use a different starting XI yet again, and his fourth formation in as many pre-season matches. This match saw SAFC line up with an almost diamond 4-4-2, although Manolo Sanchez played back as a second striker behind Jason Johnson and Victor Arajuo would often come forward for a 4-3-3 style while on the ball. That allowed Powell to see how that strike pairing would work, and he should have been pleased with the results.
San Antonio was dominant from the very opening whistle, but in the early stages they were proving wasteful. At least two genuine chances fell to SAFC in the opening ten minutes but they just could not finish those opportunities.
But in the 15th minute that was all forgotten as Jason Johnson continued his good form, scoring his second SAFC goal. It was a reverse of the first goal in club history when Sanchez was able to play through Johnson, who made no mistake applying the finish.
After some more chances went away for SAFC they were finally able to double their lead just before the half-hour mark. In an encouraging sign for the season ahead the goal came from a set piece as Victor Araujo sent in a free kick for Steve McCarthy who buried the chance easily, continuing SAFC’s good set-piece form in pre-season.
SAFC’s first half poor return rate continued throughout the rest of the half, as two more chances came and went begging. That forced San Antonio to settle for a 2-0 lead at the break, which could easily have been double that score.
Powell rang the changes in the second half, bringing on a number of trialists, which lead to a slow start for San Antonio in the second. It took until the hour mark for SAFC to add their third goal of the match, and again it was the Johnson/Sanchez combination paying off as Johnson had his brace.
It didn’t take long for SAFC to make it four when Carlos Alvarez was able to set up Sanchez, who made no mistake, burying the opportunity. With 15minutes to play, and with such a commanding lead, Powell was able to make a hockey style line change, switching out almost the entire side, every starter who was left on the park, to try more combinations.
With less than 15 minutes to play, a foul in the box allowed a familiar sight in San Antonio soccer as Rafael Castillo stepped up. As has been the case for much of his time at Toyota Field, he made no mistake, burying it to seal the 5-0 win.