All-time regular season series: 3-5-4
2015 head-to-head series: 0-1-0
The last time that these two teams met was in Minnesota this spring. The outcome was a draw, but was not without some excitement. San Antonio came out very strong to start the game. The first half was highlighted by Scorpion midfielder Zourab Tsiskaridze's 60 yard golazo to open up the scoring. He took a free kick & punted the ball past the Loons' 'keeper who was caught off his line and scored. Here it is again:
After falling behind in the second half, San Antonio would equalize and leave Minnesota with a point via a Castillo PK in the dying moments of the game. It was an exciting game that gave the Scorpions their first point of the season after failing to earn any points in their first two outings.
Q & A with Northern Pitch's Kyle Eliason.
ASC: It seems like Christian Ramirez has been playing better since the departure of Ibarra. Is he filling in that vacancy? Can you explain his recent form?
Kyle: Ramirez and Ibarra developed an excellent understanding over the course of the 2014 season—I would hesitate to claim Ibarra's departure has been responsible for a return to form for Ramirez. Ramirez rightly came into the Spring Season as the first-choice center forward but the Loons were disjointed as a team in attack at the beginning of the 2015 campaign. While Lagos has tried to fit Ramirez and Pablo Campos into the same eleven at different points, those limited attempts have proven generally unfruitful. Additionally, Lagos has a track record of only tinkering with his team's starting lineup after disappointing performances. It was more the case that Campos came in for Ramirez when the team was struggling and Ramirez did not get another shot at starting until the team hit another rough patch. He did have a few nice shots on goal coming off the bench in the middle of the Fall Season. His recent play is more the combination of opportunity, improved attacking play from his teammates and the confidence that comes with both.
ASC: What is the Loons' perspective of the rivalry between San Antonio & Minnesota? Is there one?
Kyle: There have been some excellent exchanges on the field between the Loons and Scorpions, which is where, absent proximity—which can be difficult to come by for many North American clubs—you would hope would be the origin of any rivalry. However, I think Cornfield's antics have hampered the development of such a rivalry as he is seen as a bit of a comical try-hard by many in Minnesota. If you really are someone's rival, there is not a great need to repeatedly remind them.
ASC: I definitely agree about the formation of a rivalry - if it is there you don't need to constantly remind them of it.
Kyle: I am rather optimistic. Brent Kallman replacing Cristiano Dias has helped shore up a defense that was among the more porous during the Spring Season and communication between Sammy Ndjock and his back line is slowly improving. Additionally, the Loons look more coordinated on attack. Kalif Alhassan was the highest rated reserve over the course of the Spring Season in Northern Pitch's staff and community match ratings and it is nice to see him receiving additional minutes in the wake of Ibarra's departure. Ibson has looked better in a central attacking role as of recent. New loanee Yago offers a change of pace to Daniel Mendes out wide. Ramirez is scoring again. If only Saturday's match were taking place in Blaine. Still, I think the Loons will pick up all three points. I will say 2-1 Minnesota.
Both teams have been very inconsistent this year, a far cry from the top contenders that controlled the league in 2014. Both teams are learning to play without major contributors to their teams; Miguel Ibarra is now playing in Liga MX with Club León, while Julius James, the San Antonio defender, is out for the season after breaking his leg just a few games ago.
Since the Scorpions joined the league in 2012, the regular season series between San Antonio and Minnesota has been pretty even at 3-5-4, with Minnesota earning one more win so far. With current form coming into play, I am predicting a draw for this game. Assuming that Omar returns to the lineup, I believe that the combination of he and Billy Forbes will give the Loons' defense a hard time and possibly give us some advantages...if we take them.
The game is this Saturday, July 23rd at Toyota Field in San Antonio. Kick-off is at 7:30pm CST. #SASvMNU
A big thanks to Kyle (@kreliason) & Northern Pitch (@northernpitch) for exchanging a few questions with me!
Soccer On -ASC
All things NASL
alamosoccercity.com is a soccer blog site and is in no way affiliated with Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, the United Soccer League, or any of their Properties, Teams, or Organizations. This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. alamosoccercity.com is not an official web site for Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, or the United Soccer League.
Proudly powered by Weebly