San Antonio Football Club is a professional soccer team based in San Antonio, Texas. It competes in the USL Championship, the second-highest level of the United States soccer league system, as a member of the Western Conference.
San Antonio FC Youth Development System
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Founded in 2016, the SAFC Pro Academy is a fully-funded program dedicated to identify and train players in the San Antonio area to provide a pathway to become a player for the SAFC first team, national teams, and/or opportunities in college soccer.
The Academy currently fields five age group teams that will compete in the newly-founded MLS Elite Youth Development Platform, the top tier of youth soccer in the United States. The teams are made up of over 100 full-time players from the Greater San Antonio area, ranging from birth years 2004-07. The program also incorporates its Elite Training Program to identify and offer training opportunities to players who are not within the age ranges for its teams. Academy information can be found by clicking here.
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On January 7, 2016, the United Soccer League (USL) selected San Antonio FC as its thirty-first franchise. It was part of a scheme by local leaders to secure an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer by establishing a team and purchasing Toyota Field at the same time. As a result, the North American Soccer League’s San Antonio Scorpions team was disbanded.
First head coach in club history is Darren Powell, a former men’s soccer coach at Elon University. On February 2, 2016, the team signed its first player, Carlos Alvarez. For the first time in club history, San Antonio FC qualified for the USL playoffs with a 17–11–4 (W-D-L) record, placing second in the Western Conference standings and securing their first appearance in the postseason since their debut season. SAFC made it all the way to the conference finals before losing to the eventual champions. In 2018 and 2019, San Antonio missed the playoffs by a total of four points in the conference table.
After four years with the club, San Antonio FC fired head coach Darren Powell on October 30th, 2019. He had a record of 59-39-44 in all of his competitions. While he managed the team to a single postseason berth in 2017, the other three seasons saw no postseason action under his watch. On December 9, 2019, Alen Marcina, his assistant coach, was appointed to succeed Powell in preparation for the 2020 USL Championship season.. His one and only NASL championship in 2014 was with the former San Antonio Scorpions.
Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas, is the site of San Antonio’s home games. Toyota Field is a natural grass soccer field with a capacity of 8,200 people that can be expanded to over 18,000 people. The stadium was sold to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County in November 2015 by its owner, Gordon Hartman, who had it built for the previous San Antonio Scorpions. Against Swope Park Rangers on April 9, 2016, San Antonio FC broke the Toyota Field attendance record with an attendance of 8,466.
Colors and Badge
SS&E San Antonio’s colors are black and silver, a symbol of the team’s strength and solidarity. Using the same red as in the Texas state flag as an accent color shows the club’s love and devotion to the Lone Star State. To create the emblem for San Antonio FC, the club looked to the crests of a number of other clubs throughout the world.
San Antonio’s rich military history is honored by the five diagonal stripes on the badge, which move upward to represent the club’s aspiration to play at the highest level. The rowel of the Spur also represents the close relationship between San Antonio FC and its parent company, Spurs Sports & Entertainment. An “S” connects everything inside, a tribute to the neighborhood’s history and the way it unifies the people.
With Austin Bold, El Paso Locomotive and Rio Grande Valley FC, San Antonio FC has three in-state rivalries in Texas. The Copa Tejas – a head-to-head competition throughout the USL regular season schedule – will begin in the 2019 USL Championship season. The trophy is awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the season.
South Texas Derby
In lower division US soccer, Rio Grande Valley FC’s yearly matchup with Houston Dynamo’s hybrid affiliate is one of the most intensely contested. In South Texas, the two teams are separated by a distance of 237 miles. It is common for the matches to generate a large crowd because of their close proximity.