SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies may have already clinched their places in the USL Cup Playoffs places, but will still need a win as the two both look to finish in second place in their respective conferences ahead of the start of the postseason when they meet at Toyota Field on Saturday night. Kickoff for the interconference matchups is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.
San Antonio FC news and notes
Current record: 15-4-10, 55pts
San Antonio broke a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC last Saturday night at ONEOK Field.
Both goals came in the last 20 minutes as Mark O’Ojong and Billy Forbes found the net to get San Antonio a vital win in its pursuit of a high seed in the Western Conference.
O'Ojong put in a stellar display defensively as San Antonio was without three of its regular starters on the back line and was named to the USL Team of the Week for his efforts.
Saturday's game kicks off a three-game home stand for San Antonio to end the regular season. If San Antonio takes seven points from the three games (2-0-1), it will secure second place in the Western Conference.
Tampa Bay Rowdies news and notes
Current record: 13-7-10, 49pts
The Rowdies moved into second place in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night as it took a dramatic 3-2 win against the New York Red Bulls II in its home finale at Al Lang Stadium.
After conceding the opening goal to its visitors, Tampa Bay took control of the game with there goals before the halftime break. Joe Cole opened the scoring before a brace from Marcel Schafer put the Rowdies in front 3-1 and from there the side held on to earn a crucial victory.
Schafer’s second goal of the night, a tremendous strike from 25 yards to the top-left corner, earned the No. 4 position on the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 on Wednesday night, the second time this season he has appeared in the nightly countdown.
The victory clinched a place in the USL Cup Playoffs for the Rowdies, and put them one point ahead of the third-place Charleston Battery and fourth-place Charlotte Independence. All three teams have two games to go in the regular season as they fight for the No. 2 seed.
Tampa Bay is undefeated in its last five games going into Saturday's contest, but has won only three times so far on the road this season.
San Antonio – GK: Matt Cardone, Diego Restrepo, Lee Johnston; D: Andrew Moullin, Sebastien Ibeagha, Stephen McCarthy, Cyprian Hedrick, Greg Cochrane, Ryan Roushandel; M: Pecka, Billy Forbes, Michael Reed, Victor Araujo, Rafael Castillo, Mark O’Ojong, Kris Tyrpak, Devin Vega, Maxi Rodriguez, Conor Presley, Omar Gordon; F: Cesar Elizondo, Michael Seth, Ever Guzman
Tampa Bay – GK: Nico Campbell, Matt Pickens, Akira Fitzgerald; D: Darnell King, Neill Collins, Luke Boden, Zac Portillos, Tamika Mkandawire, Hunter Gorskie, Kyle Porter; M: Marcel Schäfer, Darwin Jones, Walter Restrepo, Alex Morrell, Leo Fernandes, Justin Chavez, Sebastian Guenzatti, Keith Savage, Michael Nanchoff, Joe Cole, Martin Vingaard; F: Georgi Hristov, Martin Paterson
San Antonio – Suspended: Ben Newnam; Accumulation warning: Mark O’Ojong, Pecka
Tampa Bay – Accumulation warning: Keith Savage, Michael Nanchoff, Darnell King
REF: VICTOR RIVAS
AR1: Diego Blas
AR2: John Dearmond
4TH: Baltazar Peral Hana
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