San Antonio FC goalkeeper Jordan Farr celebrates with fans at Toyota Field after his penalty-kick save preserved a 1-0 win against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
You’ll have to trust me on this – I was alone on my couch, as usual, taking in Saturday’s action – but shortly after Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC was awarded its penalty kick in second-half stoppage time against San Antonio FC, offering a chance to grab a point at Toyota Field, I said to myself out loud:
“Now, just watch Jordan Farr save this penalty.”
It just seemed that inevitable.
And, of course, he did.
A diving stop to keep out the low shot to the left corner by the Switchbacks’ Zach Zandi was immediately followed by the final whistle and raucous celebrations in the stands and on the field as the reigning USL Championship Goalkeeper of the Year preserved his first shutout of this season and a second win of the season for the defending title holders.
It’s the sort of moment players dream about.
“You just want those [moments] to last longer,” said Farr. “We had one [in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup] with Austin last year too where it’s just like, you just want it to last so long. And it’s emotional to think about because as an athlete, you don’t get many moments like that.”
Game-ending saves of that type might be few and far between in a career, but what Farr has done in three games so far this season has added to the reputation he built throughout 2022. He’s conceded twice, sure, but his saves have helped keep San Antonio undefeated through the first three matches of the season.
Farr’s 12 saves are currently tied for second in the Championship, and as you might guess with two consecutive Save of the Week nominations and victories – and another nomination inevitably to come – some of them have been of the highest order.
The best way we might have to quantify this is through data. According to Opta through three games this season, the Salem, Ore. native has faced shots that would be expected to accumulate 5.27 goals under normal circumstances. That gives Farr a -3.27 goals conceded-minus-expected goals on target conceded, by far the best in the league.
Those that have seen that equivalent level of finishing? Hartford Athletic’s Richard Sanchez (5.17xGoTC) has conceded seven times, and the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Phil Breno (5.46xGoTC) has conceded five.
But this goes beyond numbers. It’s the feeling Farr imparts when facing a key moment, which provides the confidence he’ll deliver what his team needs.
You could see it in the celebrations of his teammates as Jacori Hayes, Connor Maloney and Ignacio Bailone immediately embraced Farr in the aftermath followed by others, a moment he greatly appreciated.
San Antonio FC's Mohammed Abu embraces teammate Jordan Farr after his penalty kick save against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Abu's goal proved the winner in the side's victory at Toyota Field. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
“For me it’s when the teammates really come on top of you,” he said. “The fans are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but when your teammates have that much adoration in that moment – they see it every day. They see your struggles, they know you as a person they see how much you’ve worked for something and so when things go right to see them come together, that’s what takes the cake.”
As San Antonio defends its title, one of its most important pieces is scaling new heights.