San Antonio FC Sign Local Talent Devin Vega

San Antonio FC has added a new midfielder to their 2017 squad, signing Devin Vega to the new squad. Vega marks another San Antonio product for San Antonio FC, keeping their ties to the local soccer community, and one with San Antonio Scorpions ties.

By signing with San Antonio FC, Vega has signed his first professional contract, and fittingly it is in his home town. The signing confirms San Antonio FC head coach Darren Powell’s renowned ability for finding and developing young talent.

Vega has been a talented player at Developmental Academy level, most recently up I-35 in Frisco with FC Dallas. In the 2016 season his side won the U-17/18 title and Vega was a key part, managing 14 goals, through 39 appearances.

The midfielder has been a shining light for San Antonio soccer development, appearing for the United States under 17 team. That saw him go to the Aegean Cup in 2014, winning the tournament, before earning an under 19 team call up in October.

Powell would have run in to Vegan during his time at Orlando City SC when he worked with their academy teams. Powell was pleased with his signing, saying in a press release, “Devin is a player with good potential who is hungry for first team soccer. He will be tested every day and we look forward to seeing the hometown player develop.”

In addition to playing for FC Dallas academy, Vega spent time with the highly regarded IMG Academy, a factory of soccer talent. That was due to his being selected for the US under 17 residency program, after strong performances for the San Antonio Scorpions Academy.

“It’s a good feeling coming back home after being gone for a while to join such a great club,” said Vega in a press release. “I think it’s going to be a really good experience coming here and helping the team out, and continuing to develop as a player. I’m really proud of this and excited to get started.”

With the signing of Vega the San Antonio FC squad is at 19 members, with at least a few more to go in the coming weeks.

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Clemens Remain Perfect as They Defeat East Central

Clemens has continued their stellar start to the season in varsity girls’ soccer as they managed a big 4-1 win over East Central on Tuesday. The Buffaloes were much too strong for East Central taking control of the match from the very start, putting East Central to the sword.

East Central tried to compete early but they were no match for Clemens at all, as they were completely torn apart. The star for Clemens was junior forward Madeline Cheatle who managed to score two goals and have an assist to make a vital contribution to the win.

From the opening whistle Clemens took it to East Central and early on Cheatle opened the scoring. That goal came from an assist from senior forward Destiny Davis who sent the ball for her strike partner to finish with aplomb.

Cheatle wasn’t content with one goal and in the dying embers of the first half she was able to double Clemens’ lead. Cheatle was able to do it on her own, creating space for herself and shooting well past the keeper to double the lead.

East Central did manage to pull a goal back at the end of the half, after seeing little of the ball through the first half. Junior midfielder Liliana Briseno sent in a ball which found senior defender Calista Goode who was able to send it home to give East Central a chance at half-time.

That goal seemed to just annoy Clemens, who came out from the break determined to extend their lead further. That saw Cheatle turn to provider as she set up sophomore defender, Ashton Dilworth who was able to bury it for the third.

The fourth goal and the result was sealed when sophomore midfielder Mya Sheridan did all of the work herself to find space and the goal. That gave Clemens their ninth win of the season, the only perfect team in San Antonio varsity soccer.

Two Return to San Antonio FC as Kevyn McFarlane Joins for 2017

Kevyn McFarlane (Photo: Eastern Florida State Athletics)

San Antonio FC has made three transactions on Wednesday as they look to build their squad ahead of the 2017 season. On Wednesday the club announced the re-signing of defender Ryan Roushandel and goalkeeper Lee Johnston while also revealing that they signed defender Kevyn McFarlane.

Roushandel appeared in three matches for San Antonio FC in 2016, starting all three of them and playing 262 minutes. Those starts came toward the end of the season, and while not a starter during the season, he put in a good shift through those matches and it is those three appearances that could well have earned him a spot in the 2017 squad.

“I am so happy to continue to be a part of San Antonio FC,” said Roushandel, in a press release. “The club has become more of my home, especially after being a part of the first team and the academy last season. I am excited to see where we go from here after having a full year under our belts, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Lee Johnston may well be moving up the pecking order, despite not making a competitive appearance for San Antonio FC in 2016. Johnston was the third choice goalkeeper for San Antonio FC in 2016 and after Josh Ford suffered what turned out to be a career ending injury, Johnston became the reserve goalkeeper but was never called upon.

“We are pleased to have Lee back in San Antonio to continue with his development,” said San Antonio FC head coach Powell, in a press release. “Last year, he was a player that came in with little professional experience, but every day in training he improved and by the end of the year he was playing quite well. We look forward to helping him continue to develop into a good goalkeeper this season.”

The two returns bolster San Antonio’s back line with and in McFarlane they have added depth by adding Jamaican McFarlane. The youngster joins from Rochester Rhinos, but was rarely used there, playing just 14 minutes.

Powell reports that McFarlane spent time on trial with San Antonio FC in the season break over summer, and obviously he has impressed enough. Prior to joining Rochester McFarlane played college soccer at Eastern Florida State College and Darton State College. Powell reports that McFarlane can play in both midfield and defense and so will be useful off the bench.

“I am very excited to join San Antonio FC,” said McFarlane, in a press release. “I have worked hard to reach this level and I am looking forward to working to achieve great things with SAFC. This is a great club and I can’t wait to come in and show what I have to offer.”

Central Catholic Continue Strong run and Defeat Reagan

Central Catholic (No. 4 SA) has continued their phenomenal form, upsetting teams in the boys’ varsity soccer in San Antonio. On Tuesday they managed a big win, defeating nationally ranked Reagan (No. 1 SA) 3-2 in what was a thoroughly entertaining match.

Despite being on the losing side, Shane Malone, Reagan’s junior forward was the start of the match scoring both of his side’s goals. The Central Catholic win came from the back of a strong team effort, which saw them over the line, and will surely give Reagan, winners of the San Antonio Soccer News Amateur Team of the Year for 2016, a strong wake up call.

The first half was tight, largely bogged down in midfield, but each team did manage a goal to make it 1-1 at the half. Malone scored his goal by getting on the end of Reagan senior midfielder Justin Sukow’s ball, continuing his good collegiate career. For Central Catholic, their goal came through junior midfielder Rob Anderson who managed to score an unassisted goal.

Central Catholic’s junior forward, Rob Smith scored Central Catholic’s second goal, again coming unassisted as they looked headed to the win. Malone scored again to equalize and to set up an entertaining finish, this time on junior midfielder Jacob Galan’s assist.

In the end Central Catholic pulled off their second shock win in a week and sent a message to the rest of San Antonio and TAPS. The winner came through Jose Gallegos, a freshman forward, who got the first winner of his varsity career.

San Antonio FC Releases Preseason Schedule

UIW, San Antonio FC’s first preseason opponent (Photo: UIW Athletics)

San Antonio FC has announced their pre-season schedule for 2017 and for the first time ever that schedule includes a friendly open to the public. San Antonio FC will play six matches in pre-season spread over two the two months of February and March.

The club will play two Texas universities before heading to their first ever interstate friendlies, taking on Minnesota United and Orlando City B in Florida. In March San Antonio FC will host their first ever open to the public friendly when they host Tulsa Roughnecks before travelling to Edinburg to take on derby rivals RGV FC Toros.

University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) will be San Antonio FC’s first match of the 2017 season, on February 11th behind closed doors, marking the second time San Antonio FC has played UIW in pre-season. Last year San Antonio FC defeated the Cardinals 3-0 with Diego Gracia, Victor Araujo and Fejiro Okiomah scoring the goals in a strong second-half performance.

The second match will be against St. Edwards University, from Austin as they come down to San Antonio on February 18th. This will be another closed door friendly as it was last year, when St. Edwards held San Antonio FC to a draw.

At the end of February and the beginning of March San Antonio FC will travel to Florida for two matches. The first match will see them take on Major League Soccer competition for the first time this season as they play Minesota United on the 26th of February.

Following that match San Antonio FC will play their first ever match against a United Soccer League (USL) eastern conference team. They will play Orlando City B in Florida on March 4th which could give a good guide to how the season preparation is going.

San Antonio FC will return to Texas and face the first public friendly match in club history as they will take on Tulsa Roughnecks at 1pm on March 11th. San Antonio FC has a perfect record against Tulsa Roughnecks, having defeated them three times in 2016, winning 3-1, 2-1, and 2-0. Tickets will be free for season ticket members, and available for sale to the general public at a later date.

The final pre-season friendly will be another one on the road as San Antonio FC travels down to the Rio Grande Valley to take on RGV FC Toros on March 18th. The two Texas teams have played each other five times with San Antonio’s only win coming in a pre-season friendly last year where they won 1-0, since then they lost three league matches and had one scoreless draw. At present it is not clear the time of this match and if it will be open to the public.

Reagan Manage Seven Goal win in Women’s NEISD Tournament

Saturday was a busy day for San Antonio Girls’ High School soccer as the North East tournament was held with some notable results at the Blossom Athletic Complex. Reagan ran out big winners as they tore apart Judson 7-0 on the East field.

Reagan got started early and did not look back as they dominated the match from the very opening whistle. The Rattlers only got stronger as the match went on scoring four of the goals in the second half of the match.

Senior forward Bethany Perez was the star for Reagan as she managed a hat-trick, with all three goals coming in the second half. On top of that Perez also provided an assist in a performance that is sure to impress college scouts.

It didn’t take long for Reagan to get started in the scoring with senior forward Taylor Olson scoring early in the first half. That was just the beginning of the hurt for Judson and later in the second half another senior forward, Lauren Anderson, also managed a goal, putting away the ball from junior midfielder Alexa Fincke.

Before half-time senior midfielder Julia Thiel made it three as she put away the ball from senior forward Cori Hernandez. Hernandez found space and cut the ball back for Thiel which allowed her to make it 3-0 at the half.

After the break Perez got her first goal of the match as she was able to the work on her own and bury the chance. Not long after Perez turned provider as she set up sophomore midfielder Rachel Hilliard cutting her the ball that allowed her to finish and make it five.

From there it was a brace of assists to junior midfielder Sarah Puga, who worked hard in the final stages of the match. On both occasions Puga set up Perez who was able to wrap up her hat-trick with the final two goals of the match.

 

Steele Central Catholic and Boerne Champion all win in Friday Boys Varsity Action

It was another busy Friday in San Antonio varsity soccer as the teams continued their early season play, warming up ahead of district play. In the biggest match of the night Steele showed why they are highly rated as they managed a big 3-1 win over Harlandale, the same score line that Central Catholic managed to beat Johnson by, while Boerne Champion managed a 2-0 win over MacArthur.

The first half was tight between the two sides, but eventually Steele’s quality showed and they claimed the victory. Senior forward Jason Fotakis was the key man for Steele as he scored one and provided an assist.

Steele opened the scoring through Fotakis as he put away a ball sent in to the box by senior midfielder Kendall Hayter. The ball found Fotakis perfectly allowing him to apply the finish and put Steele ahead.

But before halftime Harlandale pulled a goal back as junior midfielder released an impressive shot to level the scores heading in to the break. Despite that Steele kept their heads up and was able to come out from the break determined to restore their lead.

It wasn’t long before Steele had their second goal and got the lead back as Fotakis turned provider setting up junior forward Matthew O’Brien. Later in the half Steele wrapped up the 3-0 win when Matthew Madrey found the final goal.

In a rare battle between a private and public school Central Catholic ran out the winners against Johnson, winning 3-1. The lone scorer for Johnson was Ethan Caban, who put away the ball from Seth Holzmann.

For Boerne Champion the star was Tyler Childs the senior attacking midfielder who scored a goal either side of half-time. The first was assisted by Darwin Cruz who continued his good form while the second came from Nathan Gilbert, allowing Childs to wrap up the 2-0 win.

Clark Manage Double Wins Over Brennan in Wednesday HS Action

After a busy Tuesday of Varsity soccer, Wednesday saw just three matches throughout San Antonio. Clark won two matches against Brennan while a thrilling match saw South San Antonio manage a win against McCollum in a nine goal game.

In the only girls’ match of the day, Clark managed a 2-0 win over Brennan at Farris Stadium, with both goals coming in the second half. Clark’s win that came late keeps their perfect run going, as they now move to 3-0.

The woman who starred for Clark in the win was Emma Troilo who provided the assists on both goals. The freshman forward showed that she has a strong soccer career ahead of her, proving vital to her team throughout the match.

In the first half, neither side was able to find a goal, after a half which was often bogged down in midfield. Despite that, Clark always seemed to have a measure of control over the match, and eventually in the second half that would show through.

Sarah Steffen, the sophomore midfielder, scored the opening goal for Clark through Troilo’s assist. Troilo was able to get space and then was able to cut the ball back for Steffen to run on to and powerfully hit it past the keeper.

The second goal, and eventual winner was scored through an all-Freshman combination as Troilo was able to set up her strike partner Andrea Santos. Santos was able to bury the chance well and wrapped up the 2-0 win.

In the boy’s game it was a much easier win for Clark as they cruised to a 4-0 win with two goals in each half. Clark dominated the match from the opening whistle with junior midfielder Daniel Rodriguez the star, scoring two goals and providing an assist.

Angel Caballero scored the first goal of the match as he put away the ball from Luis Carlos Garcia, and they never looked back. Daniel Rodriguez scored the second goal of the match, again off a ball from Garcia to make it 2-0 at the half.

After the break Daniel Rodriguez was at it again, this time putting away after a ball from Alex Villarreal. The final goal was an all Rodriguez combination as Daniel Rodriguez turned provider, setting up Alan Rodriguez to wrap up the 4-0 win.

Fans were treated to a stunning nine goal match as South San Antonio managed to put six past McCollum. South managed to take a 3-1 lead in to the break, which saw them control it, despite a strong come back from McCollum, they cruised to the 6-3 win.

Taft Manage Dramatic Comeback to Draw with Brandeis in Varsity Game of the Week

High School soccer has got well and truly under way in San Antonio with a number of local match-ups taking place on Tuesday. By far the best viewing was at the Northside complex as Taft and Brandeis fought out a thrilling 4-4 draw.

For much of the match it seemed like Brandeis would take the win as they shot out to an early two goal lead in the first half. But whatever was said by the Taft coach at half-time obviously worked as they powered back, scoring four goals in the second half to salvage a draw after the two teams couldn’t score in extra time.

The star of that come back was Jeremy Desmet the Taft junior midfielder who was vital in the center of the park. Desmet played as an attacking midfielder and assisted on two of those four goals, providing a vital contribution.

The first half was all Brandeis with a dominant display putting them two goals up by half-time thanks to some good finishing. Jesus Valenzuela and Arturo Ortiz were the goal scorers as Brandeis went to the break confident of managing a win.

But out of the break Taft lit up, as half-time changed them and they scored the goals to pull back in to the match. Desmet provided an assist to Marlon Flores before Flores turned provider to set up Manolo Zerrweck.

The Taft offense peppered the Brandeis goal with opportunities throughout the second half and that paid off as they scored twice more. Zerrweck providing an assist for the goal from Ethan Bryant before a late own goal.

In the mean time Brandeis was able to score two goals in the second half with Sebastian Mendoza and Aaron Razzo both scoring. The two teams were deadlocked and forced to play golden goal extra time but they still couldn’t be separated with both teams having to settle for the draw.

Pecka Joins San Antonio FC for 2017

Photo: San Antonio FC

San Antonio FC has added another new player to their squad for 2017 as they picked up the free agent, Wellington “Pecka” Paeckart. Pecka joins San Antonio after playing the 2016 season in the now defunct Rayo OKC in the North American Soccer League (NASL).

In the 2016 season Pecka managed 20 appearances for Rayo OKC, starting 13 of them for over 1000 total minutes. Playing as a holding midfielder Pecka still managed offensive work, scoring once and providing two assists.

After leaving his native Brazil, where he was in the Flamengo squad, in 2011 Pecka has been playing in the United States for the past six years, predominately in the second division. He initially joined Fort Lauderdale in 2011, and proved successful there, playing in 60 matches, starting 52 of them, scoring three goals. Part of that time in Fort Lauderdale including reaching the NASL championship game, falling to the San Antonio Scorpions at Toyota Field.

His time at Fort Lauderdale Strikers was enough to draw attention and he was able to get picked up by Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Real Salt Lake. It was while at Real Salt Lake that he was introduced to the United Soccer League (USL), playing six times for Real Salt Lake’s affiliate, Real Monarchs SLC while also playing four times for the MLS team.

That was a frustrating season as Pecka did not see as much game time as he would have liked and that saw him move on to Rayo OKC. No doubt Pecka would have remained as part of the Rayo OKC line up had the club have survived but that becomes a gain for fans of San Antonio FC as Pecka will provide a vital pivot and will add competition to that position, already promising hard work in a press release.

“We are excited to add Pecka to our group of midfielders,” said SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell in a press release. “He is able to connect the game well, which will be an asset for our team. With the preseason just around the corner we are looking forward to having Pecka in San Antonio soon.”

The addition of Pecka brings San Antonio FC’s confirmed 2017 squad up to 15 with more announces expected in coming weeks.