San Antonio, there is a new amateur women’s team in town. There is also a new league in town. Samba FC San Antonio have announced they will have a women’s team play in the UPSL-Women’s league in the inaugural Central Conference this upcoming summer. Although the team may be new, the names associated with the team should be very familiar.
The first name that should be very familiar is John Rexroat. Rexroat is the current coach for the Samba FC San Antonio Men’s team and will continue in the General Manager role for Samba FC San Antonio Women. Through our entire interview the theme that continued to arise was player development This is an area he is passionate about and is ready to bring to the women’s game in San Antonio. Overall, his vision is to improve the soccer landscape in San Antonio, and he sees Samba Women as a key piece in that puzzle. Rexroat was a goalkeeper in Liga MX, where he currently still holds several records. Rexroat wants to use his enduring connections in Mexico to give players exposure and opportunities.
The UPSL league is a familiar name; there are currently four San Antonio Men’s teams playing in it. The league has been strategically launching the women’s branch by region, starting in California and the Midwest. A large part of the amateur game is to finance the travel of 22 players plus staff. The best way to keep travel affordable is to keep the teams in the same region. The idea is to have a region in North and South Texas. John Rexroat was named Central Conference Director of the league in Texas. He is currently recruiting teams to play Summer 2019. Several teams have already put their applications in to play. Rexroat plans for 8-10 teams.
Agustin “Auggie” Mendez is a name familiar to many in San Antonio. He was recently named head coach for Samba FC San Antonio Women. He has been the coach for the San Antonio Athenians Soccer Club inaugural season, SA United, Antonian Girls Varsity team, as well as a coach at the collegiate D1, D2, and D3 levels. This is paired with a vast pedigree playing in Mexico, playing and coaching in the Army, and assisting with Samba FC San Antonio Men for the past year and half. There are past players who want to follow him to his new team because they believe in his philosophy and structure.
One of the prominent aspects that differentiates Samba FC San Antonio Women from other local women’s teams is the obvious, being tied to a men’s team while maintaining the same brand identity, same logo, same name, same uniforms, and play at the same field. With the men’s team, the Samba were able to get their players occasions to take it to the next level, laying the groundwork to implement similar chances for the women. A few ways they gave developmental experiences to the men include: players practicing with the SAFC squad, several earning contracts in other leagues including one in Australia, and sending a few players to train in Spain on full scholarship. Rexroat’s plan is to bring this same level of exposure to the women. Another way Samba FC San Antonio Women differentiate themselves is they are not tied to a youth team. This allows local talent to be the focus, giving women the opportunity who may not have been able to afford the youth club experience.
The Samba FC Women will hold tryouts November 3rd, 2018. There are already several players with college and semi-pro experience who are already talking about committing to the team. Samba FC are looking to find players to develop and give exposure to at the next level. Samba FC San Antonio Women are looking for players both young and experienced who want to work hard to play at a higher level.
All these familiar pieces stem from the belief that San Antonio is a huge women’s soccer city. A whole league has decided to launch it’s third region in San Antonio to spread to the rest of the state and country. Rexroat is starting his new role with Samba FC Women to nurture the talent in San Antonio. He sees that women’s soccer has a different atmosphere than the men’s game. This is the right time to be a part of that landscape here in San Antonio, making a significant impact on women’s soccer.
Samba FC San Antonio home field is:
Wheatley Heights Sports Complex
200 Noblewood Drive, San Antonio, TX 78220