Welcome to the first ever meeting between the San Antonio Scorpions and the Austin Aztex! Fans of both teams have been waiting for this game to happen! The physical proximity to each other makes this a natural rivalry that will pit two teams separated by 70 miles via I-35. Let's take a look at the teams:
This will be the Scorpions second pre-season game; they defeated MLS side FC Dallas 2-1 in the second annual deeproot Funds Cup two weeks ago. The squad has had more practice time together since then. I expect to see a increase in team cohesion and chemistry especially with the new additions to the team. The two biggest questions marks that I still have about the team are the back line and our goal scoring finishing. I was at practice on Wednesday and saw that Julius James looked healthy. He had come out of the Dallas game in the middle of the first half with what looked to be a leg injury. Having James and DeRoux play together along with newcomers Zea and Attakora will be crucial in order to make our defense one of the best in the NASL again. Up top I'm going to be looking for more goals. Palomenque and Elizondo scored in the Dallas game. I'll be looking for more from them and to see what World Cup player Marvin Chávez can add to our attack.
This will be the first trip for the Aztex to Toyota Field and will be looking to take down their rivals to the South. The Aztex have already been in full pre-season mode for a few weeks now as they hosted the first ATX Pro Challenge that included MLS sides Columbus Crew, D.C. United, and FC Dallas. The Aztex went 0-2 in both their games. They weren't able to put a goal on the scoreboard and allowed 3 goals that weekend. You can read my analysis of the ATX Pro Challenge games, including the Aztex's here: match day 1 & match day 2.
I haven't really kept up with their pre-season games, but San Antonio fans will see a couple familiar faces in the opposition. Former Scorpions Leone Cruz, Sainey Touray, & Trevin Cesar signed with the Aztex this off-season and will probably see playing time against their former team. The Aztex also just signed form MLS forward, Kris Tyrpak. He played for the Aztex in 2012 & 2013 before being drafted by the now defunct Chivas USA of MLS.
In full disclosure I have not seen the Aztex play since the ATX Pro Challenge. In those games, Austin lost possession fairly easily and looked lost in the attacking third. They had spurts of possession where they looked dangerous but couldn't convert. San Antonio needs to dominate possession, if we do that, I believe that they will win the inaugural Hill Country Derby. Our back line should be able to exert itself on the Aztex forwards and with Sattler in goal, it will be tough for any opponent to score. We cannot lose focus though. If we let down our guard during the game, it could spell trouble for the home squad.
This should be a fun game to watch. Eberly’s Army, the Aztex's largest supporter's group, will be making the drive down to San Antonio. Add in the always chanting Crocketteers, El Veneno, and Bexar County Casuals and the atmosphere should be rocking as both sides want to claim their stake for Central Texas supremacy.
Game starts at 7:30pm tomorrow, Saturday March 14th, at Toyota Field. Come on out to support your Scorpions!
See you there!
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