Both San Antonio and Ft. Lauderdale come into this game with the exact same record, and both coming off league losses last week and U.S. Open Cup losses this past Wednesday. San Antonio has struggled to find the back of the net, despite having the league's leading scorer in Omar Cummings, and their defense has allowed the second most goals against giving the Scorpions the league's worst goal differential.
The Strikers haven't been able to find the back of the net either, failing to score in their last three NASL games. The team is playing with new Brazilian ownership this season and look to have turned a corner from their previous selves. While the results have yet to come to fruition, the team is doing well in the community and now has a new neighbor in Miami FC, who will join in 2016.
Last season & Outlook.
Last year, these two teams were an even 1-1-1 until the Soccer Bowl win for the Scorpions. San Antonio leads the all-time series against the Strikers, 5-4-3, including 1-0 in post-season play. The most important game in San Antonio's history was the 2-1 win last November over the Strikers that gave the Scorpions the NASL title.
Both teams have been eliminated from contention for the Spring title race - made official after the Scorpions lost to the league leading New York Cosmos last weekend. The focus for both teams should be to get as many points from their remaining games. With three games each, the most points that one of these two teams can achieve in the Spring is 16. Both cannot achieve that as the play each other this weekend with the same amount of points coming into the game.
Players to watch.
From Ft. Lauderdale, my player to watch is Leo Moura, the Strikers' high profile signing from Brazil. The aging star is tied for most goals in NASL play for the team. Although the Strikers haven't scored in three NASL games, I don't think that trend will continue - especially against the porous Scorpions defense.
The player to watch for the Scorpions will be Rafael Castillo. Castillo came on in the second half of the Scorpions' U.S. Open Cup match against the Austin Aztex and immediately took control of the midfield and even added a couple scoring opportunities. I think Castillo will get the start since he only played a half of soccer, but his control of the ball in the midfield will be crucial, not only for getting the ball down the field, but also keeping it away from the Strikers.
I think that the Scorpions have more firepower relative to the Strikers. This game won't see a lot of goals, if any. I'm predicting a 1-0 scoreline. This game can go either way really easily, so the scoreline is what I'll predict - not the winner.
The game is this Saturday, May 30th at 7:30pm CST at Toyota Field. #SASvFTL
Soccer On -ASC
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