All posts by sfcityadmin

Wiesenfarth keys 5-0 Burlingame defeat of SF City

By Gabe Zitrin

Matt Wiesenfarth’s banner day was too much for San Francisco City Football Club, as the UC Davis product scored four goals and assisted on a fifth as SF City went down 5-0 on the road to Burlingame Dragons. The loss, on a sunny and even hot afternoon at Burlingame High School, sees SF City drop to the middle of the Southwest Division as they await an opportunity to climb back up in the standings.

A week after the two teams drew 1-1 in SF City’s home at Negoesco Stadium, the rematch proved not to be as closely fought even from the opening minutes. A second-minute cross from the right side found Wiesenfarth with just enough space at the far post, and he bounced his one-time header past SF City goalkeeper Alex Clewis for an early Dragons lead that they would hold for the rest of the match.

City answered with a quick scoring push, as they would for most of the afternoon after conceding, but could never push one past Dragons goalkeeper Remi Prieur. Instead, they fell further behind as Wiesenfarth found Jamael Cox in the 20th minute with a throughball in the left channel. Cox was nearly dispossessed on his way through but stuck with the play and forced his way in on goal, finishing low past Clewis and putting SF City in a 2-goal hole.

Cox returned the favor just two minutes later, sending in a long ball for Wiesenfarth that split the center of the SF City defense. Wiesenfarth had enough speed to chase the ball down and fire from close range, giving Clewis no chance and Burlingame an intimidating halftime lead.

Backs to the wall, SF City came out firing in the second half and managed its best chances of the match, having a goal disallowed for offside and then forcing two point blank saves from Prieur in quick succession. But the visitors couldn’t sustain that energy, and Wiesenfarth finished off his hat trick in the 55th minute to finish off an impressive display of ball movement from the Dragons.

With the outcome no longer in doubt, SF City did begin creating more chances from the run of play. Halftime substitution Davi Ramos was especially active, taking a Gerardo Mendoza throughball to work himself space for a cross from the righthand side in the 65th minute and sending it in towards fellow substitute Johannes Demarzi, whose one-time shot hit the side netting. Ramos then tried to play provider for Robert Hines with a pretty ball flipped over the Dragons defense, but Hines was at a difficult angle and pulled his shot just wide.

Wiesenfarth’s final goal of the afternoon was just gravy for Burlingame, and the result of good fortune more than his others. Second-half substitute Diego Lopez’s cross from the left side was deflected off a defensive foot, which somehow sent it right to Wiesenfarth’s head for a close-range header that Clewis did well just to get a hand to on its way in.

SF City have a week to work out their issues, as they return home to face Ventura County Fusion on May 28, hoping to rediscover the form that saw them win 3-0 in Ventura County earlier this month.

SF City, Burlingame Prepare for Sunday Rematch

12291976_1164940326869240_5020029319596861803_o (2)By Gabe Zitrin

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If no one succeeded in your first rivalry game of the year — a tense 1-1 draw that ended with a 90th minute equalizer and one stoppage time near-miss apiece — your second one eight days later should be one firecracker of a match.

So it will be when San Francisco City Football Club heads to the Peninsula to take on Burlingame Dragons, at 4pm on May 21st at Burlingame High School, after Bryce Kaminski’s header earned SF City a point at home at Negoesco Stadium on the 13th. Burlingame’s Matt Wiesenfarth opened the scoring for the Dragons earlier in the second half with a one-timed shot from the top of the box, but the visitors couldn’t quite hold the lead to the final whistle.

SF City is coming into the match the more rested of the two sides, and maybe the one with more momentum, after the Dragons’ 2-1 midweek defeat in U.S. Open Cup competition. But Burlingame dominated possession for stretches of the Negoesco match, and will be eager to take more than a point from a rematch in front of their home fans.

The early goings of the nine-team Southwest Division of the Premier Development League have been as chaotic as advertised, but what is clear is that each of these teams will almost certainly need to take points off the other in their three games this season if they want a spot in the PDL playoffs when the regular season is over. SF City’s roller-coaster season shows no signs of settling into a pattern after their third match, with one entry each in the win, loss, and draw columns. But they have shown flashes of their ability to take over long stretches of games and finish enough scoring chances to be a force in the Southwest.

Despite stretches of quality play on Saturday, the Dragons, an affiliate of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, have started slowly in their first year under former Earthquakes goalkeeper and U.S. international Joe Cannon. Their goal against SF City was well-worked and well-finished, but it also remains their only goal of the PDL season after three matches, and they will need a better showing against SF City on Sunday to register their first win.

Just as intense as the battle on the field is the growing rivalry between the two fan bases, as each has pretty easy access to the other’s home base just 15 miles away. SF City’s Northsiders supporters group is planning a noisy appearance at its usual perch at the far side of Burlingame High’s bleachers, and the history between these two sides has proven that the Northsiders know how to influence a match from the stands. Their leadership has long let it be known that they need and expect all the help they can get from SF City fans who make the brief trip South to cheer on the Iron and Gold.

SF City will be without head coach Paddy Coyne for the second straight game, after a sideline collision with an opposing player of FC Golden State Force in the season opener. In his absence, assistant coach Shaun Ramsden once again has the reins, and a rested and fully stocked roster to work with. Coyne is scheduled to return for SF City’s May 28 home clash with Ventura County Fusion.

SF City Draws Burlingame 1-1 in Tense Home Opener

By Gabe Zitrin

Late heroics, hard challenges, screaming fans, a sun-drenched setting — San Francisco City FC’s 2017 Premier Development League home opener had everything except a winner, as they finished drawn 1-1 with local rivals Burlingame Dragons. A 90th minute header by SF City forward Bryce Kaminski cancelled out a 61st minute one-time strike by Burlingame’s Matt Wiesenfarth, and the two teams will have to wait at least eight days until their rematch on the Peninsula to claim full bragging rights in the derby.

The game started under bright sunshine before a strong pro-City crowd, and the Iron and Gold obliged their fans by starting strong themselves, with Carlos Carranza drawing the biggest applause of the first half for a weaving 13th minute run that beat several defenders but ended in a toe-poked shot that went inches wide. Wiesenfarth let it be known soon after that he would be the toughest man for SF City to contain on the day, as he worked a left-footed shot for himself in the 21st minute that drew a full-extension, fingertip save from SF City’s Alex Clewis.

The visitors remained in control for much of the first half, and after a near miss from distance by Elli Padilla, it was Wiesenfarth who created the best chance of the half. The UC Davis man stole the ball in an advanced position in the 41st minute and drove in on goal, laying the ball off to Diego Lopez. But SF City’s John Quintanilla was alert and saved Lopez’s shot off the line to send the game into the break scoreless.

15 minutes after the half, the Dragons finally broke the deadlock, as Gabe Silveira made a long run down the left sideline and cut the ball back into the box for Wiesenfarth, who expertly kept his shot down and gave Clewis no chance to save. With strong spells of possession, and crisp passing, it looked as if the visitors might send SF City’s first crowd of the year home grumpy. But SF City’s attacking quartet of Kirkland, Kaminski, Bobby Edwards, and substitute Ashley Watson came alive in the final 15 minutes of the game, creating several half-chances and forcing last-ditch clearances from the Dragons.

Their pressure and persistence finally paid off just as the game entered the 90th minute with an equalizing goal that began with a handball call against Burlingame 40 yards from out. Dead-ball specialist Kirkland, who played his college soccer at Negoesco as a USF Don, put a soaring left-footed ball into the box, where Kaminski, who plays at USF now, leapt to meet it, narrowly beating Dragons goalkeeper Mitch North to the ball and heading into an open net. The stadium erupted, and Kaminski headed straight for the Northsiders supporters club, leaping into the arms of the fans.

With only second-half stoppage time remaining, both teams somehow used the time to very nearly snatch outright victory out of nothing. First, Kaminski followed up his goal with an audacious attempt to chip the goalkeeper from the center circle, and though he wasn’t beaten over the top, North nearly let the ball sneak past him. Crisis averted, Burlingame almost stole a win with the last play of the game, as an attempt to save a headed shot from 12 yards saw Clewis slip on the turf and the ball bounce off the crossbar before being cleared to end the match.

The final whistle of the match was only temporary when it comes to this local rivalry, as these two teams will play each other twice more before the regular season ends. Burlingame gets no rest after today’s affair; they return home to face Fresno Fuego tomorrow. SF City have more than a week to prepare to face the Dragons again, this time at Burlingame High School at 4pm on Sunday, May 21.

SF City-Burlingame: the 2017 Home Opener is Here!

opening day posters

By Gabe Zitrin

The long-awaited return home for San Francisco City FC finally arrives at 1pm on Saturday at the University of San Francisco’s Negoesco Stadium, as the Iron and Gold take on peninsula rivals Burlingame Dragons in their 2017 Premier Development League home opener. After taking three points from two games on the road to start the season, SF City will need to make home a fortress throughout the year to climb to the top of the PDL’s Southwest Division.

SF City’s loyal fans have been waiting for months through a long off-season and extended pre-season to see the team in action when it counts, and to do it against the club’s arch-rival is the icing on the cake for the biggest supporters. The SF City faithful are sure to show up in numbers and full voice, and for 2017 they’ll get to do it in a venue that puts fans right up against the touch lines.

Unsurprisingly, SF City players are ready and waiting to hear the cheers of the home crowd after spending opening weekend in Southern California, but with Burlingame so close by, and with so many Bay Area natives on their roster, a number of Dragons fans are likely to make the trip North for the occasion to contribute to a rivalry atmosphere found nowhere else in Bay Area soccer. Past SF City-Dragons matches have brought out the loudest and most intense behavior on both sides among fans, players, and coaches alike (and on one memorable occasion, a mascot — we’re told that’s unlikely this time around).

SF City’s early doings on the road have been anything but boring, and they arrive at Negoesco having tasted both victory and defeat in their opening weekend, after losing to FC Golden State Force on May 5 and rebounding remarkably with a resounding win over Ventura County Fusion the next day. A second-half scoring outburst against the Fusion netted goals from Ben Brewster, Bryce Kaminski, and captain Danny Kirkland, and the rest of the roster is anxious to get in on the action. Kaminski and Kirkland are two of a host of current or former USF Dons who will return to familiar ground on Saturday at Negoesco as they look to continue their winning ways with SF City. Brewster, meanwhile, earned a PDL Team of the Week nod for his efforts.

Soccer games on back-to-back days are rare and very tiring, but fatigue is often chased away by excitement. “We thought maybe we were looking at a bit of a reset after two games in two days,” said SF City head coach Paddy Coyne, “but in training everyone’s coming out with a lot of energy. The lads are excited about getting to play at home, it’s a rivalry match, so nobody needs a rest. We’re ready to go.” For the Burlingame match itself, however, Coyne will give way on the sideline to assistant coach Shaun Ramsden, having been sent off after an unfortunate sideline collision during the FC Golden State match.

Ramsden says he isn’t particularly concerned about the switch. “If you’re have a good flow, if you’re starting to pull it together in training, a change in coach for a short time shouldn’t matter too much,” he said Wednesday. “They’ve got Paddy’s voice in their heads for 90 minutes by now even if he’s in another country. And they’re going to have mine for real.”

“Paddy or no Paddy, I’m really excited for the new players especially,” added SF City President Jacques Pelham. “This’ll be the first chance they really get to see the fanbase, the Northsiders, the full display of the support they have as players for this club. It’s special to me to see it every game, I imagine it will be even more special for them.”

Burlingame, meanwhile, are coming off a 4-0 defeat away to Fresno Fuego in their season opener, but even with the high rate of turnover on their roster and the loss of several players to the professional ranks, they can’t be dismissed after a 2016 season when they led their division in scoring and made the PDL playoffs for the second straight year. An affiliate of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, the Dragons are now led by new head coach and former Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon, but some adjustments are likely after a tough trip to Fresno.

2017 PDL Season Preview

DSC_0829

By Gabe Zitrin

A year removed from an exciting, exhausting, and frustrating, and electrifying debut in 2016, San Francisco City FC are just days away from their second Premier Development League season, and the anticipation has built to a fever pitch. Almost 70 percent of Major League Soccer draft picks since 2010 played in the PDL first, and SF City’s players know their opponents will harbor that dream every bit as much as they do. But the Iron and Gold are firing on all cylinders as they prepare to take on the hyper-competitive Southwest Division.

SF City were just three points short of a playoff spot in their first PDL season, but with a number of strong new opponents in the division this year, they’ll have to find consistent quality play to reach the postseason in 2017. “This should absolutely be a playoff team, and we’re not looking at anything less,” said head coach Paddy Coyne. “I’m not just saying that looking at the team sheet, I’m saying that looking at how we’re playing out there on the pitch, how we’re coming together and playing as a unit. This is a talented bunch of guys, guys with great attitudes, and they keep each other in the right mindset to win games.”

The PDL regular season is 14 games long, seven on the road and seven at home. As the northernmost team in the Southwest Division, most of SF City’s road trips take them to the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas, but of course a derby visit to peninsula archrival Burlingame Dragons is circled on the schedule, too.

The roster boasts a healthy mix of veteran holdovers and energetic newcomers as Coyne and his staff seek the right chemistry and depth for the grueling schedule. Captain Danny Kirkland, a former University of San Francisco Don, returns to center midfield, vice captain Ben Brewster and USF stalwart Christian De Luna will once again anchor the back line, former Stanford Cardinal Bobby Edwards returns to the wing, and San Francisco State alum Ashley Watson is another face familiar to the fans.

Elsewhere around the pitch, the competition for regular season minutes has been fierce between a host of new faces that have taken the chance to impress during a successful preseason campaign. “There’s very few places where we don’t have a bunch of guys making a good case,” said Coyne. “I have a lot of the kind of problems right now that most managers want.”

The 72-team, 10-division PDL has a new alignment for 2017, and all of SF City’s opponents now reside with them in the nine-team Southwest, including familiar opponents like Ventura County Fusion and Fresno Fuego, and a host of brand new ones like Southern California Seahorses and FC Golden State Force. But it’s the Dragons, an affiliate of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, who figure most prominently in SF City’s season as three-time opponents, including for SF City’s home opener and their regular season finale.

But before they can play for their home fans, SF City face the season’s opening weekend, which may be among the year’s most challenging. FC Golden State Force will face SF City for the first time on May 5, coming off a playoff year in 2016. The Glendora club tied for the Southwest Division lead in goals last year with 38 in just 14 games, and will be a strong season-opening test for SF City FC’s re-tooled back line. Just a day later, SF City travel up the road to Ventura for a clash with Ventura County Fusion, who narrowly missed out on a playoff spot last year themselves. SF City will look for a repeat performance from a year ago, when they won similar early-season road match against the Fusion 3-1.

The faithful home fans finally end their wait on May 13, as SF City host Burlingame Dragons at Negoesco Stadium. The rivalry games were knock-down, drag-out affairs last year, with the Dragons dominating SF City on the peninsula before SF City’s season-ending 4-0 revenge in front of the home crowd. Picking up where the rivalry left off will be the first order of business for players and fans on both sides. “The road games are critical, and we all know they count just as much in the standings,” said club President Jacques Pelham, “but the Dragons are what I’m looking forward to the most. It’s a statement game, it’s a rivalry game, it’s the only two Bay Area teams in the league, it’s the home opener. It’s everything, it’s crunch time.”

And then eight days later, the two teams do it all over again, this time with the Dragons at home at Burlingame High School. No word on whether Pelham is capable of staying that revved up the whole week off, but SF City players and fans will surely relish any opportunity for another derby, whether it’s to exact revenge or to inflict more punishment.

Between that remarkable quartet of opening games and the regular season finale against the Dragons at Negoesco on July 15, SF City’s schedule takes them around the Southwest Division at home and on the road, from Fresno to San Diego to Los Angeles, with every match liable to make the difference in the final standings between playoff soccer and an early exit. Given the thin line between the two that formed last year, the intensity of play is unlikely to let up at any point during the season, but Pelham seems to think that is just what the doctor ordered.

“This is our league now,” he says, “and it’s a league where you fight for your life week in and week out. That’s perfect. That’s what soccer should always be.”

2017 Member Benefits Announced

DSC_0842

San Francisco City FC is excited to announce that we have partnered with our new neighbors at The Yard at Mission Rock to provide exclusive SF City Member Benefits.

This is just another step in our continuing efforts to create a club with a genuine community connection.  We hope to see you at YOUR new Clubhouse & Team Store!!

NEW!! 2017 Member Benefits at The Yard / Team Store:
(With your Member Card)

  • Street Soccer USA Park: $5 drop-in play rate for SF City members (normally $10-15)
  • Anchor Beer Garden: $1 off non-special beers
  • Belcampo: 10% order discount
  • Creperie St. Germain: 30% order discount (excluding alcohol)
  • SF City Team Store: 20% off your in-store purchase

 

The Yard 038
Yard4716-20
Creperie4StGermain071416_006

DSC_0839

SF City notches 2-0 preseason victory at SF State

By Gabe Zitrin

Ashley Watson returned to torment his former team with a goal, and Chris Kennedy alertly added another, as San Francisco City FC remained undefeated in five preseason games with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Gators of San Francisco State at SFSU’s Cox Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

SF State opened the affair by working a few half-chance shots from the perimeter, including a free kick shot on goal in the fifth minute, but none significantly stretched SF City goalkeeper Alex Clewis. SF City went on to create the better of the chances for the rest of the first half, nearly scoring off a free kick near the right corner flag in the 19th minute. Captain Danny Kirkland’s in-ball headed for SF State’s back post and was headed inches wide.

Watson, a Gators player last year in addition to his work with SF City, finally broke through in the 44th minute. After a foul was called against SF State about 40 yards out on the left-hand side, Kirkland put his free kick on a dime into the center of the box, where it was headed down by Kennedy in front of the charging goalkeeper. Watson ran onto Kennedy’s header, took a touch to the left, and fired into a largely open goal.

SF City’s second came out of nothing six minutes after the restart as a reward for its high-pressing strategy. Kennedy smartly charged at an errant back pass that was within his reach near the edge of the SF State area, and the forward made no mistake with a one-time shot, doubling the lead in an instant and very much giving the game the feeling of having already been decided.

Three minutes later, it looked as though he’d created another goal under similar circumstances as he worked hard to dispossess his man at the edge of the box and play quickly to winger Bobby Edwards, who found Kirkland before the defense could recover for a shot that sailed inches high.

Though they weren’t able to convert any more of their chances on the day, SF City closed out the rest of the match without really looking in danger of conceding a goal, even as the game opened and sped up in the final half-hour. Their persistence in midfield consistently disrupted SF State’s passing and prevented many long spells of possession by the Gators, and allowing few threatening attacks.

SF City have two more games remaining on the postseason schedule, the next being played April 22 at 1pm at San Jose State University. Their second Premier Development League season begins on May 5 at FC Golden State Force, with their home opener coming on May 13 against peninsula archrival Burlingame Dragons.

SF City tops NCAA Champion Stanford 1-0

By Gabe Zitrin

San Francisco City FC head coach Paddy Coyne barely cracked a smile, but his squad move forward towards the Premier Development League season with an unmistakable shot in the arm after winning 1-0 over back-to-back NCAA Champion Stanford University in a preseason friendly on Friday in drizzly Palo Alto. Stanford alum Felipe Noguerol’s 77th minute header and a spectacular performance from their back line helped SF City avenge their 4-1 defeat at the hands of the champs a year ago, and build momentum and sharpness for the rest of the preseason schedule.

Both teams managed only half-chances in the early going, but Stanford, whose starting eleven featured no fewer than four players set to join SF City this Summer, began to show by the late first half why the last two NCAA championship trophies are theirs. A sensational buildup play with a soft back pass left past and future SF City player Bryce Marion with time alone in the center of the box in the 38th minute, but SF City goalkeeper Alex Clewis came up with the most important save of the night to keep the match scoreless.

Sam Werner was the next Cardinal headed for SF City in the Summer to make a mark on his future teammates, after he took a beautiful throughball from midfielder Jared Gilbey to beat the SF City defense and fired just wide right with a left-footed strike in the closing seconds of the first half. The visitors managed a number of half-chances and shots on goal during the half, but none appreciably stretched Cardinal goalkeeper Charlie Furrer.

As the second half progressed, the hosts continued to enjoy most of the possession, but kept running into physical and athletic defense from the SF City back line, with John Quintanilla, Ben Brewster, and Christian De Luna each cutting out numerous attacks with force and finesse. With the rain picking up again, Stanford managed the most solid chances of the early second half through future SF City players Marion and Foster Langsdorf, reigning co-Player of the Year in the Pac-12, and it looked as though they were likelier to break the deadlock.

But a trio of second half substitutes for SF City had other ideas. Johannes Demarzi played a diagonal ball for the consistently lively Gerardo Mendoza, who worked space along the right side of the end line and lofted a cross to the far side of the box, where Noguerol was waiting to torment his former team with a looping header that left no chance for Furrer and found the top left corner.

With the first goal of the game, the speed of the hosts’ play went haywire, and the closing minutes saw SF City forced into a number of desperate clearances to hang onto their lead, but they came up with every one that they needed, and held on for a tough, valuable win.

There’s no rest for the weary, though, as SF City’s next friendly comes Sunday night at Division II’s Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. But it can’t be denied that they know a lot more about their capabilities and can’t help but feel more optimistic as the start of their second PDL season draws closer.

SF City Man of the Match: Ben Brewster

Game stats:

Fouls: Stanford 10, SF City 10

Corners: Stanford 10, SF City 1

Shots (on goal): Stanford 7(2), SF City 7(5)

Offside: No one? The whole night? Huh.

Cautions: Barry McCabe (SF City), 27’ (hard challenge)

Ejections: none

SF City, Stanford Players Ready to Clash, Then Unite

By Gabe Zitrin

With the final whistle blown on the third annual Bay City Derby, San Francisco City FC says goodbye for now to some familiar faces, including past and future teammates, on the University San Francisco Dons squad. But the next game brings a new storyline that few would have anticipated a year ago. When SF City heads to Palo Alto to take on the reigning back-to-back NCAA champion Stanford Cardinal on Friday, they’ll find no fewer than five future teammates lined up against them, most still basking in Tournament glory.

While USF has always been a natural strategic partner for SF City given their close ties in the San Francisco community (and as of 2017, shared home stadium), City have significantly ramped up their operations with the influx of talent from such a major national program. In just their second Premier Development League season, it’s clear City intend to forge ties throughout the entire Bay Area in their push for San Francisco soccer greatness.

“Stanford is a local phenomenon to San Francisco fans,” said SF City President Jacques Pelham, “their players are Bay Area players, people we get to say we saw play, from John Elway to Jordan Morris. It’s a name the kids in the community recognize and look up to from a very young age, it’s a place a lot of them dream of being one day.”

Of course, the same could be said of Stanford archrival UC Berkeley (well, if you replace Elway with Aaron Rodgers and Morris with David Bingham), and the Golden Bears have made their mark on City, too, in the form of defender Trevor Haberkorn. Will we see more Cal players in the future, and City become the famous rivalry’s demilitarized zone? Pelham just smiles. “Club soccer makes for some strange bedfellows.”

It certainly did for Morris and Stanford striker Foster Langsdorf, soon to join SF City after winning co-Player of the Year in the Pac-12 in 2016. Products of rival MLS academies, they battled hard for Seattle and Portland’s youth teams, respectively, before joining up at Stanford to put past differences aside and win a championship together.

Sam Werner, Stanford and soon-to-be SF City midfielder, is another Timbers Academy product. He had similar observations on the eve of battling his future teammates. “It’s kind of fun making those connections all across college soccer,” Werner said. “Almost any game I’m playing, I’m going against players I’ve known from somewhere. That’s the setup with the amalgam of the PDL.” As one of a growing number of college standouts looking to stay sharp in the PDL between NCAA seasons, Werner saw San Francisco as an ideal spot. “It’s a great destination just to be able to spend time outside of being on the field,” he said. ”I have teammates playing for the Burlingame Dragons, too, so that’s going to be a fun rivalry game.”

But before enjoying the benefits of their growing South Bay partnership, City will have to fight for respect first against the champs, after having lost 4-1 in Palo Alto last year to a team coming off a national title and building towards what would become another. Strong play by their soon-to-be teammates is just one more obstacle to overcome in a game every SF City player is intent on winning.

USF Dons 1-1 San Francisco City FC

By Gabe Zitrin

San Francisco’s signature annual friendly lived up to its billing on a cool and clear Saturday night at the foot of Lone Mountain, but no one could pull ahead in the all-time Bay City Derby as San Francisco City FC and the University of San Francisco Dons fought to a 1-1 draw at Negoesco Stadium.

Carlos Carranza’s headed strike gave SF City the lead at the half, but Aaron Lombardi equalized for USF, and the Dons defense held off a furious late charge to claim a share of the spoils. Of course there were no points on offer, just bragging rights – but fans of both teams will now have to wait a long year for another shot at a full complement of those.

With SF City’s 4-1 win in 2015 and USF’s 3-1 revenge game last year, with current and former players of each team suiting up for the other, and with both teams calling Negoesco their home field for 2017, expectations and spirits were running high for the third annual matchup. A near-capacity Negoesco crowd saw an entertaining Bay City Derby, if maybe a frustrating final scoreline for the most competitive fans.

The game began with high pressure from the Dons and two tightly packed defenses, and solid chances were difficult to come by. The first real chance of the game took until the 29th minute to develop, when City winger Bobby Edwards made a run around his man along the end line and cut the ball back into the box, but the shot from a charging Jose Mendoza was palmed over by alert USF goalkeeper Andre Glasnovic.

City’s breakthrough came seven minutes later through the work of its two most active attackers of the game, as Ash Watson worked himself space for a left-footed cross that found Carranza’s head at the far post with pinpoint accuracy. Carranza made no mistake from close range and gave Glasnovic no chance, and City took the lead.

City, through Carranza’s cutting runs and Edwards’ galloping down the left side, managed the better of the chances in the early second half, but were unable to extend the lead and instead saw it evaporate in the 72nd minute, just after Carranza’s exit. Lombardi found the ball on the right side and worked his way clear of SF City’s defense for a left-footed shot, and although SF City goalkeeper Peter Swinkles got a punch to the ball, it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the net.

SF City responded well to giving up the lead and built several strong chances. Second half substitute Gerardo Mendoza was a consistent threat with long, patient runs and well-worked shots, but couldn’t find the target as the game opened up in the final 20 minutes.

The teams traded half-chances in the waning moments in an effort to break the deadlock, with Dons fullback Manny Padilla striking the side netting in the 88th, setting off a premature celebration from the assembled USF fans. Both defenses bent but neither broke, and with the final whistle the all-time derby still stood at one win apiece.

As USF continue preparations for the 2017 West Coast Conference season, SF City look to recharge quickly before heading to Palo Alto to take on reigning back-to-back NCAA champions Stanford on April 7.

San Francisco City FC Man of the Match: Carlos Carranza

GAME STATS:

Shots (on goal): USF 4(2), SF City 8(4)

Fouls: USF 11, SF City 10

Corner kicks: USF 2, SF City 1

Offside: USF 1, SF City 4

Cautions: Ben Brewster (SF City), 50’ (hard foul)

Ejections: None