Indy Eleven announced today that Peter Wilt will leave the club and pursue an NASL franchise in Chicago. The press release specifically stated that he will "pursue the creation of a North American Soccer League team in Chicago." While a Chicago NASL team has yet to be announced by the league, this is the first time that an NASL club has explicitly mentioned that one is on the way.
Wilt is very familiar with Chicago and its sports landscape. He was the founding general manager of the Chicago Fire of MLS and served as its president as well. This new club will be in direct competition with the Fire, who actually play in Bridgeview, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. Wilt is going to "work with the soccer community to add a public supporters component to the investor group." That group is expected to be the Sting Trust. If successful, this club could be the first of its kind in the United States. While supporter trusts own quite a few teams in Europe and elsewhere, no professional team under USSF rule may be majority owned by one. While this team wouldn't be majority owned by it, it's expected that the Trust would play a larger part of the investor core.
This is exciting times for the NASL as they continue to expand. They will welcome Miami FC and Rayo OKC this spring, and Puerto Rico FC starting in the fall. West Coast expansion is expected to be announced in the coming year as a Pacific Time Zone team is required by USSF rules to be a division 2 league. A spring or early summer announcement is expected for this Chicago NASL team.
UPDATE: Seattle Sounders II is 20% owned by the Sounders Community Trust. While Chicago won't be the first, it could potentially have a larger supporter investment.
In front of a home crowd of 7,232 in attendance, the San Antonio Scorpions earned a much welcomed 3 points. The win vaulted themselves up from the bottom of the NASL fall and combined season tables as well.
The Scorpions had a few great chances to score but were unable to take advantage of all of them. Finally, the second year veteran, Castillo, opened up the scoring in first-half stoppage time. Marvin Chávez was brought down inside the box by Indy keeper, Cardona, earning the home squad a penalty kick. Castillo, captain for this game as Adrian Cann was serving his suspension due to a red card received in Wednesday's game, stepped up and slotted the ball home to give the Scorpions a 1-0 lead going into the locker room.
Indy Eleven didn't give up though as they had a handful of attempts that kept San Antonio keeper Fernandes on his toes. But their efforts would go unrewarded. In the 72', Billy Forbes sent a cross to an advancing Castillo, who was able to slip the ball past the goalie for his second goal of the night.
The win was muted though as César Elizondo was shown a straight red card right before the final whistle as he led his challenge studs first. Elizondo will miss the next game against the Rowdies because of his red.
The win puts San Antonio only 5 points removed from 4th place in the combined standings. Their next game will be huge as they will play the current holders of that coveted 4th place, the Tampa Bay Rowdies. If they can take 3 points from this match, they will be able to close the gap and only be 2 points behind them.
Soccer On -ASC
All-time regular season series: Tied 2-0-2
2015 head-to-head series: Indy leads 0-0-1
The Scorpions are coming off a wild Wednesday night match-up against the Carolina Railhawks which saw the two sides end a match in a draw for the first time in their head-to-head series. The end result was a bitter-sweet one for the home team. After falling down 0-2 to the visitors, the Scorpions netted three unanswered goals, while being a man down to take the lead - only to see that lead vanish after an unfortunate own-goal by Nana Attakora in the 77'. The Scorpions played very aggressively once captain Adrian Cann was sent off in the 19'. They held possession well and threatened the Railhawks almost continuously. The Alamo City boys then came out after half-time like a new team. Without counting the players, one would have thought that Carolina were the team a man down. This pressure is what lead to the 3 goal outburst. While each side scored a golazo of their own, the game was overshadowed by the officiating. In total: 2 red cards, 11 yellow cards, & 3 penalty kicks were clearly the highlights of the evening.
While the Scorpions have a reputation for playing without discipline, it seemed as though their reputation highly influenced many of the cards given on Wednesday. While some of the cards were rightly given, the yellow card giving spree definitely started with some very weak calls in this writer's opinion. None-the-less, San Antonio walked away with a point in hand and a bottom of the table standing.
The team now turns to Saturday's game against the Indy Eleven. This will be the final of three home games that have spanned only eight days time for the Scorpions. Currently they have only secured 1 point out of a possible 6 from their first two home games in this home stand.
Indy is coming off a 3-0 victory over expansion side Armada and will have their newest signing, former U.S. youth international Daniel Cuevas, available. Both teams are sitting comfortably outside The Championship race with possible remaining points dwindling.
The last time these two sides met was the second game of the season at Toyota Field. The Eleven left San Antonio with all three points in a dramatic 2-1 victory. When a tie was all but the conclusion to the game, Sergio Peña saw former Sporting Kansas City loanee, Jon Kempin, off his line and punted the ball from midfield to score the game winner, stunning the home crowd. More than half of the 2015 season has unfolded since their last meeting, and San Antonio will be looking to grab their first win in the month of September.
I do expect to see the Scorpions come out and play as aggressively as they did on Wednesday after the sending off of Adrian Cann. The team is in last place, missing the post-season is almost a foregone conclusion, and what they have to play for - their pride - is definitely on the line. I hope that for them to play like they did for most of the game on Wednesday, a red card will not be needed. I'm predicting a close home win for the Scorpions.
The game is this Saturday, September 12 at Toyota Field at 7:30pm CST. #SASvIND
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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