PITTSBURGH (Fwrd Axis) — The historic season for San Antonio FC continued on Saturday night as they earned a 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC to clinch the top overall seed in the USL Championship Playoffs, which begin at the end of the month.
SAFC’s victory combined with Memphis 901 FC’s loss to The Miami FC clinched the top overall spot in the league with 73 points, guaranteeing home-field advantage for SAFC throughout the playoffs.
“Regular season champions. First in club history. Guys have broken a number of different records over the course of the season,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “We had a number of guys that haven’t gotten many minutes that stepped up big. Yes, we can be honest with ourselves – it wasn’t our best performance but you have to find ways to win and the guys did tonight.”
Playing in frigid tempatures and rain, the game had little flow until the final 20 minutes when San Antonio scored the game winner on a Carter Manley heel kick in the 86th minute off the assist from Nicky Hernandez. The goal marks the first for Manley in USL Championship play and his second overall after scoring the match-winning goal in the US Open Cup win over Austin FC in April.
The shutout was SAFC’s 17th of the season, tied for the most in a single season in league history.
“It comes from the whole team,” Manley said of the club’s defense. “From the forwards to the midfield to the backline. It’s a team effort to keep that clean sheet not just the backline. We’re doing great.”
San Antonio FC is now 23-5-4 (73 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Saturday when they play their final road game of the 2022 season against Birmingham Legion FC (16-9-7) at 4 p.m. at Protective Stadium