There are still five more days until the fall season starts so there could be more player movement, but hopefully the roster is pretty much set. The Scorpions are in need of consistency in a very inconsistent year and the movement of players on and off the team won't help their cause for a repeat championship.
We'll try and keep you up-to-date on player movement for the Scorpions here and on Twitter and Facebook.
Soccer On -ASC
The San Antonio Scorpions ended their 2015 spring campaign with a draw against the visiting Canadians from Ottawa, 0-0. While neither side could find the back of the net, both defenses put in a strong showing for the finale. Ottawa's goal keeper, Romauld Peiser, improved upon his modern day NASL shutout streak to 526 minutes while San Antonio native, Matt Cardone, received his first professional start due to a warm-up injury to Daryl Sattler. Cardone played for Trinity University in San Antonio and posted his first shutout in this game. The draw sends the Scorpions into seventh place on the NASL table with 12 points, only two points from a tie for fourth place.
The 2014 NASL champs started out their 2015 campaign to a poor start, posting a 0-1-3 record in their first four games. An opening night loss to the upstart Tampa Bay Rowdies dampened the excitement that was carried over from their league championship just a few months before. After losing to Indy Eleven by an amazing goalazo and losing a heart breaker to the newest NASL team, the Jacksonville Armada, the Scorpions looked to turn a corner with a two game win streak. That ended with a 3-0 thrashing from the eventual spring champs, the New York Cosmos. San Antonio ended their spring season with a 1-2-0 record and finished tied with Jacksonville with 12 points.
The story of the spring was a porous defense which allowed the third most goals in the league. The Scorpions were only able to hold three of their opponents scoreless - allowing 1.5 goals on average per game. The good news for the team is that they are only two points off of fourth place heading into the fall. The two season winners and the next two teams with the highest point totals will make the playoffs. San Antonio only has two ways of extending their season into November - they must either win the fall championship, or earn enough points to be in the top four in the combined standings at the end of the season.
The Alamo City boys will have a couple weeks off from NASL play. Their next game is an international friendly against the Costa Rican side, C.S. Cartaginés on June 27th at Toyota Field. They begin their fall season on July 5th against FC Edmonton in Fort McMurray, Alberta in the inaugural "Wood Buffalo Cup" - here is my story on the new cup.
There is still time for the Scorpions to turn their season around and make a push for the post-season, but the defense will have to continue to improve if that is to happen!
Soccer On -ASC
The spring season got off to a terrible start for the Scorpions, but in their spring finale they have a chance to move up into the top-half of the table going into the fall. It's a good turnaround from April, but they will have to first win against the visiting Fury to salvage the spring season. San Antonio is coming off a huge road victory in Atlanta where Omar Cummings added to his goal tally and Daryl Satter looked like Tim Howard against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup. Finishing in the top-half of the table will make the spring seem less like a failure and more of an improvement going into the fall.
The Fury, in their second year, are just one point behind the Scorpions; they too will be looking to end the spring on a high note and possibly finish in the top-half as well. The Fury come into this final game after a scoreless draw in Jacksonville against the expansion Armada. Their goal keeper, Romuald Peiser, is currently on a shutout streak of 436 minutes (and counting), which is a modern day NASL record. The Fury haven't been able to find the back of the net since a 1-0 victory over Indy Eleven back on May 23rd.
Last season & Outlook.
The Fury and Scorpions have only met up three times, all coming in 2014 as it was the first season for Ottawa. San Antonio is 1-2-0 all-time against the Canadians; the lone win was in Ottawa and a draw each at home and away. The playoffs are still a possibility for both teams - if they do well in the fall. Ottawa's defense has been pretty solid this spring, posting five shutouts, though their attack only scoring five total goals so far this spring.
Players to watch.
My player to watch for Ottawa is their goal keeper, Romuald Peiser. He hasn't allowed a goal against the Fury in four matches. Can he continue to keep the ball out of the net - facing the leagues' leading goal scorer in Cummings - and get an important away victory, and first against the Scorpions?
I'll be looking to Omar Cummings again for San Antonio to produce more goals. He is our most consistent and biggest threat in the attacking third. Once our midfield starts to take control of the game, I'll look to see more balls played up field to find the fancy feet of the Jamaican international.
The Fury have never beaten the Scorpions, and I don't think it will happen on Saturday. With few consistent attacking options from the visitors, Daryl Satter should be able to post another shutout. If our midfield and forwards can break down the Fury defense, I believe it will be a successful end to the spring season for the home team. 2-0 to the Alamo City boys.
Game time is this Saturday, June 13th at Toyota Field at 7:30pm CST. #SASvOTT
Soccer On -ASC
It was reported yesterday that current Minnesota United star and U.S. Men's team call-up, Miguel Ibarra, is going to Liga MX to play for Club León. The club tweeted this out last night - Minnesota has yet to confirm or deny.
This is great news for the young man; at 25 years of age, he will start to play against better talent and he will be making way more than he could in MLS (reportedly $2 million). For Minnesota, this hurts. He is a big contributor to the team and with the Fall season still to be played, United will need to look elsewhere for his creativity. His departure to Mexico is good and bad for the NASL in that it shows the league has talent that is desirable elsewhere, but it also leaves a void in the NASL of a "big time" United States national team player. The league still has Raúl, but who will be the next young American to attract the attention of the U.S. national team or other top leagues?
Soccer On -ASC
All things NASL
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