Darren Abate / USL
The eyes of soccer fans across the country will be on San Antonio this weekend as the city hosts three nationally broadcast games.
The Alamodome will be the site of two Gold Cup matches on Sunday, July 16. The highly anticipated faceoff between group leader Mexico and Curaçao is the second game of a doubleheader that follows Jamaica’s meeting with El Salvador. The first match is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. with doors opening at 3:30 p.m. The second game will kick off shortly after the conclusion of the first.
The matches are part of the Gold Cup tournament held every two years to determine the soccer championship of national teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Organized by the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association of Football (CONCACAF), the tournament is part of the qualifying process for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Mexico has won the Gold Cup seven times, leading all nations.
Soccer fans will also have the chance to see San Antonio FC face off against rivals Oklahoma City Energy FC Friday, July 14 at Toyota Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The San Antonio FC match will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU, with an audio call of the game on Sirius XM FC. The Texas team will host a live airing of Sirius XM FC’s daily show The United States of Soccer with Jason Davis from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday at GS1221. Head Coach Darren Powell and Managing Director Tim Holt are scheduled to appear, and a town hall session follows the radio show.
Fellow United Soccer League club FC Cincinnati recently appeared on ESPN, showing a home crowd that helped ignite talk around the Ohio club’s pursuit of a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. While SAFC remains tight-lipped about its specific plans for expansion, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Wednesday, “We are focused on getting an MLS franchise to San Antonio.”
On the pitch, San Antonio FC has been having one of the best seasons in the league. The second year club currently sits in second place in USL’s Western Conference, boasting a record that includes just one loss in 16 matches played.
OKC Energy FC has always been tough adversary for San Antonio. The Texas club has failed to defeat OKC Energy in four all-time league meetings, tallying three draws and a loss. Most recently the two clubs played to a nil-nil draw in Oklahoma on June 10. However, OKC Energy is currently battling an injury bug and has lost three of its last five league matches.
The action will pick back up Sunday when the Alamodome hosts the Gold Cup doubleheader. Mexico currently leads Group C after defeating El Salvador 3-1 on Sunday, and will face Jamaica Thursday night at Denver’s Sports Authority Field. The San Antonio match could have large implications on when El Tri will meet the United States later in the Gold Cup, as both teams are expected to win their groups.
Mexico Manager Juan Carlos Osorio remains suspended after using “insulting words” and “an aggressive attitude” toward match officials during the Confederations Cup, leaving the team’s assistants to adjust its tactics.
San Antonio has always provided a friendly venue for the Mexican national team to play, and Sunday is expected to continue that tradition.