San Antonio comes limping into its second game of this young NASL season after dropping its home opener 3-1 to the visiting Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Scorpions had last week off, taking their one Spring Season bye week early on. The past two weeks of practice will have allowed more time to practice together; hopefully more cohesion in the defense and precise finishing will emerge for game #2.
Indy Eleven is going into their third game of the season. The first two against Atlanta and New York, both 1-1 draws. Indy stole a point against the Silverbacks in week 1 with a stoppage time PK & gave up an early 1-0 lead against the Cosmos when Raúl equalized.
Last Season & Outlook.
Indy and San Antonio played three times in 2014 with San Antonio winning two & Indy taking the third. This will be just the fourth all-time match up between the two sides. Only the Fall game in San Antonio was won by more than one goal; the other two were decided by one apiece. All eyes will be on the defending champs as they try to forget about their first game two weeks ago and get their first victory of the season. Indy will also be looking to secure their first victory of the 2015 season on the road where they have historically had more success than within the friendly confines of Carroll Stadium.
The defense for the Scorpions will be put under an intense magnifying glass. Veteran defender Julius James will not be available for this game as he received an accumulated red card in the season opener. Nana Attakora and Stephen DeRoux will need to step up for the back line. In addition, we should see Eduar Zea return to the starting lineup along with Abdul-Saalam. Hopefully Tsiskaridze will make his NASL debut against the Eleven - he was an interesting missing piece from the team against Tampa Bay.
Players to watch.
The player to watch for the Scorpions will be captain Rafael Castillo. During pre-season and the game against Tampa Bay, Castillo was forced to play further back to help in the defensive effort. He hasn't been able to get forward like he was last year to create and score goals. I'll look to him to try and push the ball forward with better passes and hopefully more goals.
For Indy Eleven, the player to watch is former Scorpion, Greg Janicki. Janicki had been with San Antonio from its first season back in 2012. His move to Indy during the off season was a huge blow to the Scorpions defense. Not only was he a great defender & leader for us, he was also a fan favorite. This will be his first trip back to the Alamo City since signing with Indy Eleven.
It's hard for me to predict a win for the Scorpions this weekend, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we will get our stuff together and get our first victory of the season, 2-1.
The game is this Saturday, April 18th at 7:30 pm CST at Toyota Field. #SASvIND
Soccer On -ASC
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