San Antonio came out strong in their first road match of the season. Tsiskaridze opened up the scoring with a 60 yard bomb from a free-kick that gave the visitors a 1-0 lead early in the game. It made headlines...
This wasn't Tsiskaridze's first long goal, he had one from almost the same spot when he was on the Swedish Superettan club, Jönköpings Södra IF.
San Antonio fell behind in the second-half though when former Scorpion, Pablo Campos, netted his first goal since 2013. Christian Ramirez converted a PK in the 59' to give the home side a 2-1 advantage. Late in the game, the Minnesota goalie, Sammy Ndjock, tried to clear a ball in the box, but instead hit Elizondo on the head and San Antonio was given a penalty. Rafael Castillo calmly slotted it home for his first goal of the season and secured an away point, the first point of the season for San Antonio, spoiling Minnesota's first home game and sending their record crowd home disappointed.
I had predicted that Minnesota would win this game; They came close to winning, but San Antonio played hard and capitalized off of two mistakes by the United keeper. A good result against a good squad. There is still plenty of work to do, but a least we aren't 0-0-3 to start the season. Each game we look a little better.
The red & black return to the field this coming Saturday, May 2, against the expansion Jacksonville Armada in Florida. This will be the first match-up between the two sides.
Soccer On -ASC
The early 2015 season has not been kind to neither Minnesota nor San Antonio. Both come into this game on losing streaks of 1 & 2 games, respectively. Minnesota was able to squeak out a draw in their first match but failed to get any points in their second. San Antonio, on the other hand, had an opportunity to get at least a point this past Saturday, but was undone by a near stoppage-time goal by Indy Eleven that sunk the Scorpions.
This is the first home game of the season for United, and the first since they were announced by Major League Soccer as the next expansion franchise. For San Antonio, this is the first road test for the defending champs of the season. Last year, San Antonio was formidable on the road - something they'll want to repeat this year.
Saying this game is a must-win for both sides is an understatement if they want any chance at the Spring Championship, which may well be out of reach for both sides already.
Last season & Outlook.
In the three games last year, San Antonio went 1-0-2 against the lads from the north. Minnesota was able to capture the Spring Championship while the Scorpions stole the Fall Championship on the last game of the season from a stoppage-time goal from Adrian Cann that gave the Alamo City boys the title. It seemed as though the two teams would meet in the Soccer Bowl, but United were undone at home versus the Strikers, whom the Scorpions defeated for the title.
Both teams have very high expectations for this season. Both title contenders on paper, but have yet to show it on the field. Both teams are at the bottom of the table. Both teams are without wins. Both teams are struggling to score.
Players to watch.
For Minnesota, like always, it's the duo of Miguel Ibarra and Christian Ramirez. The USMNT call-up & 2014 Golden Boot winner have been pretty quiet in their first two games. I don't expect them to stay quiet and they might awaken in their first home game of the season.
San Antonio's player to watch is César Elizondo. Last week it seemed like he was just running around the pitch without any purpose. If San Antonio is going to score more goals, he will need to be more involved, have better first touches, and take better strikes.
Of course I want the red & black to win, but from what I've seen in the first two games, I'm not too optimistic and I'll be happy with a draw. Hopefully Cummings can continue his scoring streak and maybe Elizondo will help contribute as well. It will be interesting to see how our men handle the first away game against the reigning Spring and Woosnam Cup winners. It pains me to say this, but my scoreline for this game is 2-0 in favor of Minnesota.
Prove me wrong, Scorpions!
The game is this Saturday, April 25th at 7:00 pm CST at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. #MNUvSAS
Soccer On -ASC
This day in Scorpions history.
Three years ago today, just before halftime in the third game of the season against the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2012 NASL Golden Boot & Golden Ball winner Pablo Campos scored the first ever NASL goal for the San Antonio Scorpions in front of 10,114 fans at Heroes Stadium. San Antonio was able to secure a draw with the Strikers in the 91' when Hans Denissen equalized to give the home squad its first ever home point.
Soccer On -ASC
Another home game, another home defeat. The 2014 champs are off to a poor start to the 2015 season. This loss hurt more than the opener; How that long ball found the back of the net, I have no idea. That was the dagger that sealed the 2-1 victory for the visiting Indy Eleven.
In my opinion, these first two games were a result of an almost non-existent pre-season & signing players too late for any chemistry to take hold. I saw a lot of hero ball played, especially in the second half. Our guys were taking the Indy defense one-on-one and never looked for other teammates to pass to to attempt better shots.
There were quite a few chances for the Scorpions to take the lead in the first, even a few that were right in front of goal that were somehow cleared by the visitors. The lone bright spot, again, was Omar Cummings who netted his second goal of the season in the 52'.
We looked to take the 3 points until a questionable foul led to an Indy free-kick that was headed in to tie the game in the 64'. Even still, we looked close to securing our first point of the season until a freak 40 yard punt by Indy Eleven somehow got past Kempin to steal all the points for the visitors. No words.
Bottom of the table, no wins, no points. Safe to say the Spring Season Championship is out of reach now.
Our next game is this coming Saturday as we go on the road for the first time this season to take on the 2014 Woosnam Cup winners & new MLS expansion franchise, Minnesota United FC.
Hopefully our fortunes turn around, but we might be in for a long season, Scorpion fans.
Soccer On -ASC
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