All-time regular season series: Tied 1-0-1
2015 head-to-head series: Tied 1-0-1
The Armada's first trip to Texas didn't go as planned. In their inaugural season, the expansion team has yet to take all 3 points away from the confines of their home stadium - and that trend continued in San Antonio. On the other hand, the Scorpions were able to break their streak of 5 games without a win, their last coming in early July.
Last week's game wasn't the most exciting game ever played, but there were definitely some good chances created by both sides. The game was scoreless until second half substitution Billy Forbes received a nice through ball from Tyler Gibson and slotted home the winning goal past the Armada keeper. The goal gave the home side the all important 3 points to stay within striking distance of a Championship berth. The win was also the first shutout since the team's last win, a 3-0 victory against the Rowdies, and the first shutout for keeper Daniel Fernandes' San Antonio career.
Both the Armada and the Scorpions will meet up again this weekend, this time in Jacksonville, for the final meeting this season. The Armada squeaked out a 2-1 win in the Spring at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, but the visitors will be looking to take all 3 points this time around. Look for Forbes and Cummings to break down the Armada defense to find the back of the net.
With a game in hand, the Alamo City boys are only 6 points away from 4th place in the combined standings. The guys know how important each remaining game is. If they can take 6 points from both of these games, it will set themselves up pretty well to make a run for a repeat obtainable.
This is a pretty important game for the San Antonio Scorpions. Not only can it set us up for a chance to possibly move up the combined standings, but it is also the club's 100th regular season NASL match! In 99 regular season games, the Scorpions have an all-time W-D-L record of 43-20-36 with a win percentage of 43.43%. While the winner of this game won't receive a trophy, it is a milestone in the history of our club and a win will be all that more special. The team will be traveling to Florida with confidence knowing they can win. I predict a slim victory for the Scorpions in Jacksonville.
The game is this Saturday, August 29 in Jacksonville, Florida at 6:30pm CST. You can watch it on ESPN3. #JAXvSAS
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All-time regular season series: JAX leads 1-0-0
2015 head-to-head series: JAX leads 1-0-0
When the Armada visit the Scorpions this weekend, it will be their first visit to the Lone Star State & Toyota Field. This will be the second all-time meeting between these two sides, with the expansion side earning the first win back in the spring in Jacksonville. While the Armada have had their struggles this year, they are solidifying themselves as a solid middle of the table team this year. They definitely have had a better year so far than the reigning champions.
San Antonio is coming off a tough 2-1 loss to the New York Cosmos. New Scorpion signee, Milton Palacio, opened up his NASL account on his debut, but the Alamo City boys would come up short. In an unfortunate event, defender Brad Rusin was credited with an own goal which turned out to be the difference in the game. To make the Scorpions' situation more desperate, they haven't won a match in their last 5 tries. Their last win was Week 2 of the fall season, a 3-0 win over the Rowdies. Jacksonville is coming off a 1-0 win against the Silverbacks and are riding a 2 game win streak coming into this weekend's clash.
Jacksonville is currently only 4 points away from a top 4 finish, while the Scorpions are now 9 points away. While there is still time and points available to make a top 4 finish, with how this season has gone, a huge turnaround will be necessary if there will be post-season play for a second straight year for the Scorpions. The Scorpions have yet to reach the post-season in back-to-back years in their short history.
This will be the first of a back-to-back against the Armada. Next week the Scorpions will visit the Armada in Jacksonville for the final meeting between the two sides this season.
The Scorpions have been playing better on the offensive side of the ball as of late, New York was the first team to hold San Antonio to a goal or less since the Eddies in the first game of the fall back on July 5th. It's the defense that has been the Achilles heal for this team. They own the league's worst goal differential (-8) & have given up the most goals so far (33). While we did lose the first meeting against the Armada, I believe that we will take advantage of our home field. Omar Cummings scored in the first game and I believe he'll score at least a brace in this game. I'm predicting a 2-1 win for the home team.
The game is this Saturday, August 22nd at Toyota Field in San Antonio. Kick-off is at 7:30pm CST. #SASvJAX
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For the third time in four games, the San Antonio Scorpions left the pitch without a win. The only point so far this season came last week against Minnesota United. While another point looked secured in Jacksonville, a deep-into-stoppage-time goal by Alhassane Keita sealed the first NASL home victory for the new expansion side.
The Scorpions gave up an early goal in the fourth minute but quickly equalized off a Play of the Week nominee goal by San Antonio's leading scorer, Omar Cummings. It stayed 1-1 for the rest of the game, until Keita's late winner. Like the previous three games, defense was the issue for the Scorpions. Defensive laps and being one-step behind the attacker seems to be the trend for the Alamo City boys.
The Spring season championship is surely out of reach now for the reigning NASL Champs. In order to call the Spring any sort of success, moving up the table will be a necessity - getting as many points as possible in order to make a run in the Fall. While this is a terrible start to the season, I hope that the club gives head coach Alen Marcina at least another game, if not two, to turn things around before making significant changes in leadership. I have always been behind Marcina, but there are some in the front office whom I wouldn't mind seeing removed before the Spring is up.
The Scorpions return to Toyota Field this Saturday, May 9th, to host the Carolina Railhawks.
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Early in its inaugural season, the Jacksonville Armada have shown what an expansion franchise should look like and how to operate. Unfortunately for them, their success off the field hasn't been felt on the field. After winning their first game in front of a record NASL crowd, the Armada have dropped two games, both against their Coastal Cup rivals, Tampa Bay & Fort Lauderdale.
San Antonio hasn't started its season the way they would like either. After dropping their first two home games, the Alamo boys stole a point from Minnesota United in their first away game. The Scorpions have looked better in each game and will look to get their first win of the season.
Last season & Outlook.
The Armada don't have a last season. Expectations are high in Florida though as the team had a very successful pre-season and look to disrupt the NASL standings. Most expansion teams haven't fared well in their first seasons, except for San Antonio and New York, though. Last year, Ottawa and Indy Eleven both struggled all season long and the same fate could be in store for the Armada. I predicted that they would be a dark horse playoff contender but we'll have to wait and see how that turns out.
San Antonio tweaked its roster this week that bolstered its defense. The Scorpions acquired Bright Dike on loan from MLS side Toronto FC, traded Richard Menjivar to Tampa Bay for Brad Rusin, and captain Adrian Cann returned from injury. While Richie was a fan favorite, he plays in the midfield where we have plenty of talented players. It seemed as though he wasn't going to get much playing time in San Antonio. In addition, he will more than likely be playing for El Salvador in this summer's Gold Cup and would be unavailable for the Scorpions during that time. In Rusin, the Scorpions get an experienced defender who has height. Pair him with Cann and our defense now has a few more guys who are tall who can really make a difference for us on set pieces.
Players to watch.
I have yet to see an Armada game but I'm confident that San Antonio will put a lot of focus on their forward, Alhassane Keita.
On the San Antonio side, I am going to be watching our second year player, Billy Forbes. Billy was the NASL's assist leader in 2014 and scored a few goals as well. Billy has been relatively quiet in the first three games this season. He was able to score a hat-trick on Tuesday when the Scorpions scrimmaged the All-Air Force soccer team. Even though it was not against a professional club it should help boost his confidence going forward. I'll be looking at him to create more opportunities and take the ones that are given to him.
In their second consecutive away match, I'm going to say that the Scorpions will go into Jacksonville and finally get all three points for the first time this season with a scoreline of 2-0.
The game is this Saturday, May 2nd at 6:30 pm CST at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida. #JAXvSAS
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