San Antonio FC goalkeeper Matt Cardone is the lone player to have played every season with the club since its inaugural campaign in 2016, and has made 80 appearances in all competitions for SAFC. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC announced on Wednesday it had exercised its contract option to keep goalkeeper Matthew Cardone in the club’s colors for the 2021 USL Championship season.
“As a staff, we are very excited to have San Antonio native Matt Cardone back for the 2021 season,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “Matt has proven season after season to be one of the top goalkeepers in the USL Championship. He continues to evolve as a leader on and off the field and will continue to play an important part in evolving our team culture while meeting our team's objectives. Matt serves as a fantastic example for all our aspiring youth soccer talents here in San Antonio.”
With his return, Cardone is the only SAFC player to remain with the club since its inaugural season in 2016. During the 2020 season, Cardone started 11 matches, making 28 saves and allowing 11 goals in 990 minutes. The goalkeeper notched a 71.8 save percentage while keeping four clean sheets in the shortened campaign. The veteran helped lead a strong SAFC defense to the club’s second USL Championship Playoffs berth in team history where he recorded five saves in 120 minutes in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against New Mexico United.
Cardone’s most prolific season with SAFC came in 2019 when he appeared in 33 matches, compiling 2,923 minutes of action and seven clean sheets. He recorded 94 saves on the season to set a new SAFC record while also ranking seventh in the USL Championship.
Overall in his San Antonio FC career, Cardone has appeared in 80 matches in all competitions, making 79 starts and tallying 7,110 minutes. The 27-year-old became the first SAFC player to earn USL Championship Player of the Week honors after his performance at Saint Louis FC in August of 2016 and remains the club’s all-time penalty save leader with five. Cardone also holds the joint-record for saves in a single match with SAFC after he recorded nine at Sporting Kansas City II on July 30, 2016.
“I am very proud to continue representing my hometown club and the incredible San Antonio fans and community,” said Cardone. “I look forward to our team and culture continuing to grow as we strive to improve on last season.”