All-time regular season series: 3-5-5
2015 head-to-head series: 0-1-1
The final game of the season is this Saturday in Blaine, Minnesota. The San Antonio Scorpions have a good shot at finishing the season at the bottom of the combined standings when it's all said and done. It's been a 180° turnaround for the club who won the 2014 Fall Championship and later the Soccer Bowl to become NASL champions. The Loons, however, will be returning to The Championship after a rocky start in the spring.
Minnesota come into this game with the highest scoring offense in the league, scoring over 50 goals, a league record. The Scorpions on the other hand have given up the most goals this season, a combination that could see the scoreboard light up Saturday night. San Antonio had a decent outing against the Cosmos last weekend in their home finale, losing out on a questionable PK & wonderfully taken free-kick. The Alamo City boys did, however, look threatening on the offensive and will try to end their season on a high note.
The series between Minnesota and San Antonio has been heated, to say the least. This "Not A Rivalry" rivalry game will be a great opportunity for the visitors to send their opponent from up north with a loss as they enter the post-season. The last time the Scorpions visited Minnesota, they came away with a 2-2 draw, highlighted by SA's Zourab Tsiskaridze's free-kick goal from 60 yards out.
The Scorpions were able to hand Minnesota a 1-0 loss in Blaine at the end of last season but have yet to get in the win column this season versus the Loons.
The game is this Saturday at 7pm CST in Blaine, Minnesota and can be viewed on ESPN3. #MNUvSAS
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All-time regular season series: Tied 4-5-4
2015 head-to-head series: FTL leads 0-1-1
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers will play host to the San Antonio Scorpions for the final time in 2015. This is the final "rematch" of the 2014 NASL Soccer Bowl, which San Antonio won 2-1 last November. With 90% of the 2015 season already played, these two teams will be ending their seasons in very different ways. The Strikers, coming off the Soccer Bowl loss, are in position to claim the final Championship playoff spot this year. On the other hand, the defending champions are virtually eliminated from post-season contention. While mathematically still in the race, their 1-0 loss in Ottawa on Sunday made it practically impossible for the champs to have the chance to repeat.
The last time these two clubs met, Stefano Pinho, the league's Golden Boot leader and MVP candidate, scored his 2nd hat-trick of the season (no other NASL player even has one hat-trick) to down the Scorpions 2-4 at Toyota Field. The defense played well in Canada this past weekend though, especially goalie Daniel Fernandes. He'll be tasked with trying to prevent Pinho from adding to his goal tally. A tough task to say the least.
The Strikers are coming off an impressive 4-0 home victory over the Carolina Railhawks and will look to continue their goal scoring prowess to help them secure their 2nd consecutive playoff appearance.
San Antonio has not won in Fort Lauderdale since a 4-1 win back on June 29, 2013. With their post-season hopes hanging by a thread, and vying to not end up at the bottom of the table, it will be 3 points or bust for the Alamo City Boys in South Florida
It's a quick turnaround for the Scorpions, who just played on Sunday. Striker Eric Hassli will be unavailable due to his questionable red card he received in Canada. The Scorpions will have to look to Cummings, Tyrpak, and Gentile to be the ones to score for the Red & Black.
Playing against a team that is also playing for the playoffs, playing away from home, and playing on a short turn around are not the ideal conditions to play with. The Scorpions will have to overcome these if they want to leave Florida for the final time in 2015 with 3 points. We'll see if they can do it. History is against them and San Antonio hasn't bucked any bad trends this year.
The game is today at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Game time is 6:30 pm CST and can be watched on ESPN3. #FTLvSAS
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All-time regular season series: Tied 1-3-1
2015 head-to-head series: OTT leads 0-1-1
The San Antonio Scorpions' next opponent is the Ottawa Fury. The Fury have had a renaissance this Fall spearheaded by the league's best goalie, and MVP candidate, Romauld Peiser. The Frenchman has started every game this season for the Fury and boasts the league's best Goals Against Average (GAA) of 0.78. The only other keeper that is remotely close to that number is New York's Jimmy Maurer at 0.96 GAA. The Canadian side has locked up its place in The Championship, the NASL's post-season playoffs, and became the first Canadian side to do so in the modern NASL era.
The Fury had the chance to lock up their first trophy in the NASL last weekend but gave up a late equalizer to the Tampa Bay Rowdies that prevented them from wrapping up the Fall season title. The Scorpions, on the other hand, earned their first road victory of the Fall, and first since a June tilt at Atlanta, to give the Alamo boys all three points. It was their first victory in a month - and against the same opponent, the Indy Eleven. The Scorpions will be looking to take that momentum north of the border in a must win game if they want any chance at stealing the coveted 4th place spot.
San Antonio will look to newly added forward, Kris Tyrpak, from the Austin Aztex, to continue his hot start to his time in the Alamo City. Tyrpak has scored two goals in as many games for the Red & Black, earning himself a Play of the Week honor and Team of the Week honor along the way. In addition to Tyrpak's arrival, the play of midfielder Marvin Chávez has been crucial to the success of the Scorpions' attack.
Keys to the game.
Buckle down on defense.
This will be the final meeting of the 2015 regular season between the Fury and the Scorpions. While the post-season is technically still in reach, the visiting Scorpions should play loose and maybe the right result will happen. It'll be tough to score on the team that is leading the league in goals against, only having given up 21 all season - 8 goals better than the next best team.
I expect Tyrpak and Chávez to continue to play well. If we can get to the 20' mark without conceding, we might just have a chance. The Scorpions can't continue to give up early leads, especially multiple goal leads. While a win is needed, a draw is the most likely outcome when we play the Fury this weekend.
The game is this Sunday, October 18th at 2:00pm CST. #OTTvSAS
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All-time regular season series: SAS leads 7-3-3
2015 head-to-head series: SAS leads 1-1-1
The San Antonio Scorpions return home to Toyota Field to play host to the Atlanta Silverbacks. This will be the final meeting between the two sides. San Antonio took the first meeting, a 1-0 away victory at Silverbacks Park but had to overcome a 3-1 deficit to draw the second meeting, again in Atlanta. Both teams are technically still in the playoff hunt, although more realistically for the Silverbacks as they are only four points behind 4th place.
While earning 3 points will be a welcome site for the Scorpions, this game will also have special meaning to a certain defender with a Jamaican flair. When Stephen DeRoux steps on the field for Saturday's game, he will take sole possession of the Scorpions' all-time games played record (NASL regular + post-season games only). Original Scorpion, Greg Janicki, has held the record at 68 games. DeRoux has had this entire season to catch up to that number since Janicki left to play for the Indy Eleven. DeRoux will also take the lead in minutes played for the club in the following game, assuming he plays all 90 minutes. He's been a staple in the back for the Alamo City boys since he arrived here in 2013. This is definitely a momentous occasion for him and the club; adding 3 points along with it wouldn't be bad, either.
Alamo Soccer City on Gorilla Talk with Paul Scanling
Take a listen to Paul's interview with me:
The team will need to be focused for this game if they want a chance at 3 points, especially with the speculation of what may become of the team if the stadium and/or team is sold. While it's been known that the stadium and team were up for sale, not much has been reported on it except for bits and pieces here and there. Chris Hockman from the San Antonio Soccer Examiner reported earlier this week that Bexar County is close to purchasing Toyota Field. He also notes that the Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) are looking to have their own soccer team within the next two years. Whether or not that is the Scorpions, or their own team, is yet to be determined. SS&E have a USL franchise license and would likely move the Scorpions to USL, or create their own USL team in San Antonio. All of this is still undecided and we will just have to wait and see how the events unfold. I know fans are uneasy with unknown for the club, so a focused and determined win this weekend will help cope with that.
While the team came out flat against the Rowdies, the Scorpions have played better at home. This will be a low scoring game and I'll give the edge to the home team.
Thanks to Paul for having me on Gorilla Talk! You can follow him on Twitter @AtlGorillaTalk and on SoundCloud.
Game time is 7:30 pm CST at Toyota Field. #SASvATL
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