Exciting news came out of Central Texas yesterday; the San Antonio Scorpions will host the Austin Aztex in the first annual Hill Country Derby.
The Aztex will be playing their first season in USL Pro after having a short, but successful, tenure in the USL PDL. They won the 2013 USL PDL Championship, the clubs first. This will be the finale to the Aztex's preseason. They will meet the reigning NASL Champion Scorpions at Toyota Field on March 14th, currently San Antonio's 2nd preseason match. It was only a matter of time before these two clubs met on the pitch. San Antonio and Austin are only 70 miles apart, making this a no-brainer for a soccer rivalry. It could possibly be a preview of the Scorpions' 3rd Round U.S. Open Cup match with the geographical proximity being so close as well.
With both clubs/cities vying for a MLS franchise, this matchup will give the teams a great way to show that both cities are ready for a MLS team, or two, to come to Central Texas. Even if only one city received an expansion franchise, it would immediately create a great addition to the Texas Derby that FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo already participate in.
Fans of both clubs are definitely excited that this game will finally happen. After the announcement, supporter groups from both teams went to Twitter to exchange pleasantries about tailgating and even introducing a supporters trophy to the winner, the "Queso Bowl".
We'll see if this actually happens, but it just shows that these two fan bases are ready to play each other. I do like the name of the match, Hill Country Derby. If you've ever been to Central Texas, it truly is hill country territory - very beautiful and describes the location of both Austin and San Antonio perfectly. Kuddos to the naming committee.
On a side note: I will be making the trek up to Austin this weekend to watch some of the ATX Pro Challenge that includes the Aztex, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, and FC Dallas. I'll definitely be sizing up the Aztex and FC Dallas as the Scorpions will play both of those teams in the preseason.
I am really excited about this rivalry starting! Eventually I'd like to see the creation of a #TexasTriangle rivalry between San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Houston. It shouldn't matter that they don't play in the same league, the potential for fierce rivalries in Texas are perfectly set up now. Here's to hoping...
For the official release on the Hill Country Derby, read it here.
Soccer On! -ASC
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