SAN ANTONIO (Fwrd Axis) — San Antonio FC capped off a historic 2022 season by capturing their first USL Championship title in club history with a 3-1 victory over Louisville City FC in front of a sold-out crowd at Toyota Field on Sunday night.
With the victory, SAFC redeemed itself from losing in the Western Conference Final a year ago and finishes a record-setting campaign that saw them finish as the top overall seed with the most wins and points in league history.
“It’s going to be a special memory I’ll never forget,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said of the win. “To be able to celebrate a championship in front of the best fans in the league, our fans here in San Antonio in our beautiful city, I’m just incredibly proud. Proud of everyone.”
San Antonio came out firing and nearly had a goal early when Santigo Patino was taken down in the box as Louisville was called for a penalty. SAFC defender Mitch Taintor stepped up but his attempt went wide of goal. Samuel Adeniran nearly put San Antonio ahead later but his shot rang off the post.
SAFC took the lead just before halftime when Louisville was called for a handball in the box. Patino stepped up and drilled the penalty to put San Antonio up 1-0 going into the second half.
“I’ve prepared the whole season for PKs,” Patino said of his penalty. “I’m comfortable with taking PKs. I believe in myself, and I know I can do it.”
Adeniran added to SAFC’s lead in the second half with a goal off the assist from Taintor as he headed home the goal to put the home side up two goals in the 64th minute. San Antonio sealed the win with Patino’s goal off the assist from Mohammed Abu in the 78th minute, giving Patino a brace and winning MVP honors.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Patino said of winning the championship. “We worked hard this season for this. I‘m very happy to be able to win it with this team and this amazing group of guys.”
San Antonio FC matched the league records for regular season wins and road wins, while finishing with the second-most regular-season points in league history. The season felt different from the moment from kickoff in March and it ends with another championship for the city.
“This team, I am so proud of,” SAFC Defender Connor Maloney said. “Alan got us prepared all year, and he’s been amazing, this organization has been amazing, this city has been amazing and the fans have been amazing. Thank you to everyone who has come out and supported us. We can’t thank you enough.”