San Antonio FC goalkeeper Jordan Farr thrives after starting

Moments after goalkeeper Jordan Farr helped seal San Antonio FC’s 2-1 victory over MLS club Austin FC with his seventh save, he briefly waved his celebrating teammates to make room for a standing backflip.

Farr joked that he picked up the skill during his years working at a trampoline park, and the celebration has become his signature, with SAFC fans behind the north goal at Toyota Field asking for it after every victory.

He highlighted the night against Austin as ‘the best football experience of my life’, falling in the middle of a streak of three consecutive USL Championship games that made him the league’s Team of the Week twice. .

Just three weeks before his star performance in the US Open Cup match against Austin, Farr was mired on the San Antonio bench, stuck behind opening night starter Cristian Bonilla.

But Bonilla’s sudden retirement at the end of March paved the way for Farr to become one of the hottest goaltenders in the league, sparking a four-game SAFC winning streak before a meeting with Monterey Bay FC at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Toyota Field.

“I’m confident. As a goalkeeper you take runs when you have them,” Farr said. “You try not to go too high and not too low either, because you know it can go in both ways.”

Farr brought that mindset to SAFC when he signed in January, knowing he would face competition for the starting goaltender position.

He held the net for San Antonio on an emergency loan from Indy Eleven in the 2021 playoffs, starting all three games of the SAFC’s run to the Western Conference Finals.

During four years with Indy, Farr played 34 games, most of them in 2021. But when the club declined his contract option after the season, Farr decided to move full-time to San Antonio, recalling his relationships with players and training. staff as well as his wife’s affection for the city.

Bonilla’s signing with SAFC was announced just a day after Farr’s arrival, and longtime stalwart Matt Cardone re-signed in February, sparking a competition that coach Alen Marcina called “the ultimate decision”. toughest we’ve had to take” during pre-season.

When Bonilla was given the go-ahead to go, Farr said he kept a cool head by prioritizing his faith, family and relationships with teammates above his position on the depth chart, following the Cardone’s example of staying positive despite adverse news.

“That first night seeing Cristian go out, it was obviously tough,” Farr said. “It’s not easy to see someone step into that role, but at the same time this team has been about one thing and one thing only, and that’s cohesion across the whole group. “

Farr said he focused on providing his own positive reinforcement – a skill the 27-year-old picked up during his time with Indy Eleven.

Since turning pro in 2018 after four seasons at Corban University’s NAIA school in his hometown of Salem, Oregon, Farr said he’s seen “crazy growth” in his game, benefiting from training constantly with specialist goalkeeper coaches.

With an improved physique and improved mindset compared to his early days in the professional ranks, Farr said he felt ready to seize his opportunity with SAFC.

“Having my identity in other things first makes it easier to come in, because it’s not like all the pressure in the world is on you,” Farr said. “Obviously that first game against Phoenix, I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. It’s just about remembering that you trained for it.

Marcina said he was “incredibly proud” of how Farr had “stepped up in a big way”, and defender Carter Manley said Farr’s impact had been “massive”.

“He definitely has our trust, so that makes everything a lot easier,” Manley said. ” There is no doubt. If he says something, we do it right away. There is no resistance.

Of all the highlights of Farr’s short stint as a starter, Manley called the last stoppage against Austin particularly “unbelievable.”

As San Antonio held a one-goal lead in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Farr slid forward to stuff a forward shot attempt from Austin’s Felipe Martins. As their legs tangled in the middle of the penalty area, Martins made no effort to get back to his feet, trapping Farr in a seated position as the rebound rolled towards the center of the penalty area.

Austin’s Rodney Redes charged forward and fired a shot from about 10 yards out, and Farr instinctively lowered his right elbow just enough to deflect the ball straight into the field, choking it to force a stoppage of play .

With just weeks to wonder if he will get a chance to see the pitch this season, Farr has never felt so ready for the Premier League.

“The experience of being there with a full crowd from Austin and San Antonio bringing everything we have, that validates for all players, because that’s what the next level looks like, and that’s not not far at all,” Farr said. “It was a wonderful, wonderful night, and one I won’t soon forget.”

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Twitter: @GregLuca

Teresa E. Burton