Both San Antonio and Ft. Lauderdale come into this game with the exact same record, and both coming off league losses last week and U.S. Open Cup losses this past Wednesday. San Antonio has struggled to find the back of the net, despite having the league's leading scorer in Omar Cummings, and their defense has allowed the second most goals against giving the Scorpions the league's worst goal differential.
The Strikers haven't been able to find the back of the net either, failing to score in their last three NASL games. The team is playing with new Brazilian ownership this season and look to have turned a corner from their previous selves. While the results have yet to come to fruition, the team is doing well in the community and now has a new neighbor in Miami FC, who will join in 2016.
Last season & Outlook.
Last year, these two teams were an even 1-1-1 until the Soccer Bowl win for the Scorpions. San Antonio leads the all-time series against the Strikers, 5-4-3, including 1-0 in post-season play. The most important game in San Antonio's history was the 2-1 win last November over the Strikers that gave the Scorpions the NASL title.
Both teams have been eliminated from contention for the Spring title race - made official after the Scorpions lost to the league leading New York Cosmos last weekend. The focus for both teams should be to get as many points from their remaining games. With three games each, the most points that one of these two teams can achieve in the Spring is 16. Both cannot achieve that as the play each other this weekend with the same amount of points coming into the game.
Players to watch.
From Ft. Lauderdale, my player to watch is Leo Moura, the Strikers' high profile signing from Brazil. The aging star is tied for most goals in NASL play for the team. Although the Strikers haven't scored in three NASL games, I don't think that trend will continue - especially against the porous Scorpions defense.
The player to watch for the Scorpions will be Rafael Castillo. Castillo came on in the second half of the Scorpions' U.S. Open Cup match against the Austin Aztex and immediately took control of the midfield and even added a couple scoring opportunities. I think Castillo will get the start since he only played a half of soccer, but his control of the ball in the midfield will be crucial, not only for getting the ball down the field, but also keeping it away from the Strikers.
I think that the Scorpions have more firepower relative to the Strikers. This game won't see a lot of goals, if any. I'm predicting a 1-0 scoreline. This game can go either way really easily, so the scoreline is what I'll predict - not the winner.
The game is this Saturday, May 30th at 7:30pm CST at Toyota Field. #SASvFTL
Soccer On -ASC
The San Antonio Scorpions dropped a 3-0 decision to the league leading New York Cosmos on Saturday. The loss means that it is mathematically impossible for the Scorpions to claim the Spring title. The title chase only has four contenders left: the New York Cosmos, Minnesota United, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and the Jacksonville Armada.
San Antonio had a handful of chances to score in the game that went unclaimed. Even after the Cosmos were awarded a penalty kick in the 18' minute that Raúl slotted home, the visitors looked to equalize until the 81' minute when the home team doubled their lead. It didn't take long for it to become 3-0 and any thought of leaving New York with any points vanished.
Though this is a disappointing result, the Scorpions will host two out of their three remaining Spring games. Getting as many points out of these three games will be crucial in order to have a good starting point for the Fall season in the combined standings. With only three games left, the Scorpions can earn a maximum of 16 total points from the Spring season; that's IF they win out.
Up next is the Hill Country Derby, U.S. Open edition, on Wednesday against the Austin Aztex. San Antonio will be looking to avenge their 4-1 preseason drubbing to the USL side. In league play, San Antonio will return to Toyota Field to host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in a rematch of the 2014 Soccer Bowl.
I hope y'all had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Don't forget to thank those who are or who have served in the armed forces - we owe our freedom to them!
Soccer On -ASC
The Cosmos made the biggest player signing in modern NASL history when they inked Raúl for the start of the 2015 season. They also were able to sign former Scorpion, Walter Restrepo, as well as others that have played themselves to the top of the league. They are in prime position to win the Spring title, and with a win against San Antonio, they will eliminate the Scorpions from the Spring title mathematically. The Cosmos made a miraculous come back win last week at Carolina to keep their unbeaten start alive. They were down 0-2 to the Railhawks and scored two goals, both in stoppage time, to secure a point for their efforts.
San Antonio, on the other hand, is on a two game winning streak after losing three of its first four games and seem to be gelling together. They have the league's leading scorer in Omar Cummings but have the league's second worst goals against record having already given up 11 goals in six games. On Tuesday, San Antonio's defense took another hit when Sporting Kansas City recalled Saad Abdul-Salaam from his loan. Keeping New York's attack at bay will be crucial for a San Antonio victory in New York.
Last season & Outlook.
San Antonio leads the all-time series against the Cosmos, 4-0-2, including a victory in last years Championship semi-final. New York and San Antonio were very familiar with each other in 2014. The Scorpions swept the season series in 2014, including two wins in New York and two in San Antonio; the first win in San Antonio came by a stoppage-time goal from captain Adrian Cann to secure the Fall Season title. They would meet the following week in the Championship semi-final where the Scorpions were victorious after the game went into added time.
2015 has gone quite well for the Cosmos. They are on track to win the Spring, but even if they don't, they have set themselves up nicely for a good Fall in order for them to qualify for the playoffs. San Antonio is technically still alive in the Spring race, but if they lose to New York this week, they will be eliminated from Spring title contention. San Antonio needs to continue to improve, accumulate as many points as possible so that they can have a change to qualify for the post-season in the Fall.
Players to watch.
Raúl. It's pretty simple. While the team has plenty of quality players, none are on the level of Raúl. It's a big test for all of our players as many of them have seldom, if ever, played against such a soccer legend. Any nerves the Scorpions have need to be left in San Antonio.
For San Antonio, the players I'll be watching are Billy Forbes and Adrian Cann. Forbes has had two solid back-to-back games. His presence in the attacking third adds another dimension that can either free up Omar Cummings, or allow him to score on his own. On the back line, I'll look to Cann for his leadership in making sure that the Cosmos stay out of Daryl Sattler's net. The Cosmos have four players with two goals each this season, meaning their scoring chances will likely come from many places. This will be a big test for the Scorpions' defense.
San Antonio is 2-0-1 when playing the Cosmos in New York. The Scorpions are playing much better than at the start of the season, but still have questions to be answered on defense. I predict a 2-2 draw for the visitors. The Scorpions need to focus on getting as many points as possible for the remainder of the Spring. Stealing a point from the league leaders will be a decent result.
The game is this Saturday, May 23 in Hempstead, New York at 6pm CST. #NYCvSAS
Soccer On -ASC
It was a back-and-forth game between the San Antonio Scorpions and FC Edmonton with the visitors ultimately coming out on top. The game featured five goals, two players scoring braces, and questionable defense from both sides.
San Antonio struck first as team & league leading scorer,Omar Cummings, hit a nice shot past the Eddies' keeper to put the visitors on top. The visitors led going into halftime, and then the goals started to rack up. The Eddies would equalize with the first of two goals from Daryl Fordyce in the 53'. Shortly thereafter, NASL Week 7 Player of the Week, Billy Forbes, beat the Eddies' off-side trap, took keeper Matt VanOekel 1-on-1 and scored his first goal of the 2015 season. Daryl Fordyce would equalize again for the home team, but it was Billy Forbes who had the last laugh. He put pressure on defender Mallan Roberts, stealing the ball just outside the box and slotted home the game-winning goal - sending the home fans away with their first home loss in 11 games.
The Scorpions return to action this Saturday when they visit the league leading New York Cosmos. #NYCvSAS
Soccer On -ASC
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